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The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) placed an arrest on 13 passenger planes belonging to Russian company Smartavia Airlines because these aircraft were used to illegally fly to occupied Crimea. The SBU published an announcement on Dec. 6.
The move starts the process that could lead to limiting where these planes are allowed to fly. The restrictions include European destinations, according to the SBU.
The planes were used to illegally transport people across the Ukrainian border and violated international flight rules. The SBU opened an investigation into possible treason, illegal movement across state borders, and illegal entry into temporarily occupied territories.
After Russia occupied Crimean Peninsula in 2014, Ukraine closed its airspace over Crimea.
Nevertheless, the SBU stated that 37 Russian airlines currently operate regular flights to the annexed peninsula in violation of Ukrainian law.
A total of 249 Russian passenger planes were arrested for flying to the occupied peninsula in violation of international flight rules and Ukrainian law.