Russia Will Shoot Down Any Aircraft That Violates Its Borders

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The frequent provocations of NATO countries in the airspace that is in close proximity to the borders of Russia have forced the Russian military to take preventive measures.

The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation has prepared a draft government decree that stipulates the possibility of civilian aircraft with passengers on board being destroyed should they violation the aerial borders of Russia.

To a greater extent, this will apply to aircraft that are in the no-fly zone and do not respond to warnings. The existing law “On Countering Terrorism” allows to shoot down any civilian airliners that are in the airspace of the Russian Federation if they do not follow the rule of its use or do not obey the demands for landing or change their route and at the same time their actions can lead to the mass death of people or an environmental disaster. First of all this concerns crafts that appear in no-fly zones. At the same time, the current decree of the Government of the Russian Federation “On the Procedure for Using Weapons … in Airspace” from 1994 prohibits shooting down planes that violate the state border if it is known that there are passengers on board.

“The new document should eliminate these contradictions,” said the military expert Vladislav Shurygin to Izvestia. “They were written down in the legislation after a loud international scandal associated with the destruction of the South Korean Boeing by the Soviet air forces that violated the country’s airspace in 1983.”

According to the document, upon the detection of such unknown aircraft the forces on duty will be immediately put on the highest readiness, then jets and helicopters will rise into the air, and the flight control bodies of the unified system of air traffic management will be connected to the military to help to classify the violator.

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The increased readiness will appear if the potential violator approaches the state border at a distance of 50 km or less (for the Eastern Military District – 100 km, for the border coastal strip – 150 km).

The forces on duty will have to immediately warn the crew of the aircraft about its possible entry into the airspace of the Russian Federation and the need for help to restore its orientation. If necessary the aircraft will be pointed to an airfield for an emergency landing. If it is impossible to establish a radio communication with the violator, the pilots of the Aerospace Forces with the help of visual signals will report about a navigation error and the necessary further actions.

In the explanation of the Federation Council it is said that the main purpose of the draft law is to prevent mass death in the event of terrorist attack catastrophes.

All the nuances can’t be included even in the most detailed statutory act, but it is necessary to clearly state in it the instances where it is possible to force down a violator plane, said the former commander of the 4th army of the air force and air defense Lieutenant-General Valery Gorbenko to Izvestiya. For this the purpose the Ministry of Defence will prepare a decree that will contain a clear algorithm of actions for specific performers.

The decision to destroy a violator plane will be made, most likely, by the National Defense Control Center of the Russian Federation (NDCC), said the military expert Anton Lavrov to Izvestiya.

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“A working group that will make such decisions can be created as a part of its structure,” he said. “It will start to act on a permanent basis and be on duty around the clock in order to have the opportunity to immediately react to a state of emergency. Officers from all law enforcement bodies must be a part of a group that will help to avoid blunders when establishing interaction in an emergency situation. The duty General of the NDCC, who in the event of an aerial state of emergency, most likely, will also acquire the right to give the order to open fire, will lead its work.”

The crash of an aircraft aimed, for example, at a nuclear power plant can cause a national or global environmental catastrophe that can cause a huge number of people to suffer, noted the member of the Federation Council Committee on Defence and Security Frants Klintsevich.

In many countries it is authorised to force down aircrafts in such emergency situations. Unfortunately, the people on the plane will die, but it will allow to avoid a more terrible catastrophe and many human victims”

he told Izvestiya

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