Kremlin prepares decree allowing Russian military to shoot down passenger planes that violate Russia's border

The Russian Defense Ministry drafted a government decree that would again grant permission to shoot down passenger planes that violate the state border of the Russian Federation.

The ban to hit passenger liners was introduced after the international scandal in 1983 when the Soviet Air Forces shot down the South Korean Boeing 747 carrying 269 passengers.

The ban was consolidated in post-Soviet Russia by the government decree “On the procedure for using weapon in the airspace” in 1994.

The new document drafted by the Ministry of Defense and published on the Russian government’s website of legal documents lifts the ban and returns the Soviet regulations related to the planes violating the airspace.

If a civilian plane that is not equipped with weapons violates the state border of the Russian Federation and does not respond to the radio commands, military planes are obliged to fly up and send visual signals forcing the hijacked jet to land or leave the airspace of the Russian Federation.

If the aircraft does not respond and “if there is a credible threat to lives or a major environmental disaster, including a direct threat of an air attack on strategic facilities of the Russian Federation, the forces on duty shall use weapons and military equipment,” the resolution states.

According to the document, aircraft, helicopters, as well as anti-aircraft missiles can be used to shoot down passenger jets.

  Russia, Defense Ministry

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