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Media: Russian plane carrying passengers, radioactive cargo makes emergency landing in Moscow

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 11, 2023 1:19 PM 2 min read
An Airbus A321-211 aircraft of Russian airline Aeroflot in long-term parking in Geneva, Switzerland, in March 2022. Swiss sanctions banned Aeroflot from using Swiss airspace. (Fabrice/Coffini/ AFP)
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A plane operated by the Russian airline Utair carrying 104 passengers and allegedly radioactive material as cargo was forced to make an emergency landing in Moscow, Deutsche Welles reported on Dec. 11, citing Russian Telegram channels.

The plane was flying from Khanty-Mansiysk in western Siberia to Moscow and reportedly experienced a malfunction with its landing gear.

The independent Russian media outlet The Moscow Times said on Dec. 8 that 11 incidents involving civilian aircraft were recorded in Russia over the first eight days of December, including two on one day on several occasions.

The incidents highlighted the increasingly apparent impact of Western sanctions on Russia's airlines, which have prohibited the export of aviation-related technology and spare parts and banned the ability of Russian airlines or Russian-owned airplanes to use EU airspace.

Sanctions have radically transformed the nature of Russian airlines, forcing the majority of routes to be domestic-only.

Russian state-controlled media Kommersant reported in May 2023 that 2,000 flights had been recorded by planes using expired parts, according to comments by Viktor Basargin, the head of the Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Transport (Rostransnadzor).

Some Russian planes have begun to be serviced in Iran, one of Russia's few remaining allies, and a country also under Western sanctions, according to the state-run Russian media outlet TASS.

Russia's Foreign Ministry officially filed a complaint with the U.N.'s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on Oct. 11, saying that the sanctions "jeopardized the safety of international civil aviation."

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