Ukraine: Russian Air Routes Revealed As Flights Avoid EU Airspace

Cameron Frew

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Ukraine: Russian Air Routes Revealed As Flights Avoid EU Airspace

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Flightradar

Russian aircraft are being forced to take a long detour to avoid prohibited European Union airspace.

Ukraine is now facing its fifth day of Russian President Vladimir Putin's 'special military operation'. Talks between negotiators from Moscow and Kyiv have begun in Belarus, but expectations aren't high as casualties continue to rise amid shelling and other conflict; the Ukrainian Armed Forces have claimed approximately 5,300 Russian soldiers have been killed.

Bar a small handful of countries either supporting Russia or refusing to outright condemn (Syria, China and the Taliban in Afghanistan), the response has been largely deafening: countries across the world are opposed to Putin's invasion, imposing historic sanctions and banning planes from their airspace.

Yesterday, February 27, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced an EU ban on Russian aircraft.

'First, we are shutting down the EU airspace for Russian-owned, Russian registered or Russian-controlled aircraft. They won't be able to land in, take off or overfly the territory of the EU, including the private jets of oligarchs,' she said, as per Sky News.

Von der Leyen also committed to 'banning the Kremlin's media machine... the state-owned Russia Today and Sputnik, and their subsidiaries, will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin's war. We are developing tools to ban their toxic and harmful disinformation in Europe.'

In a screenshot from FlightRadar24, shared by BBC News, you can see the route a Russian-owned aircraft has been forced to take; in lieu of usual passage over Lithuania and Latvia, the plane had to fly around the countries, across the Baltic Sea, before getting to Russia.

An image showing Russian aircraft's flightpath. (FlightRadar24)
An image showing Russian aircraft's flightpath. (FlightRadar24)

Prior to von der Leyen's statement, several European countries had already started shutting off their airspace to Russia, including the UK, Poland, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Romania, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland and Germany.

Omar Alghabra, Canada's transport minister, also confirmed the country's airspace wouldn't be allowing any Russian aircraft. 'All of Canada is united in its outrage of President Putin's aggression against Ukraine,' he said in a statement.

'In response, we have closed Canadian airspace to Russian-owned or operated aircraft. The Government of Canada condemns Russia's aggressive actions and we will continue to take action to stand with Ukraine.'

While the US has yet to enforce a blanket ban on Russian planes, its embassy in Moscow urged people to leave the country immediately amid more cancellations. 'US citizens should consider departing Russia immediately via commercial options still available,' it said.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information 

Topics: News, Russia, Ukraine, World News

Cameron Frew
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