There are many aviation angles to the War in Ukraine, though the latest is perhaps the most sinister. Russia is dusting off its aging fleet of “doomsday” planes as an increasingly erratic President Vladimir Putin has reportedly ordered military drills.
Ilyushin Il-80 Maxdome “Doomsday” Planes On Standby As Putin Mulls Nuclear Drills
An insider on Telegram who is purportedly close to the Russian President has made several disturbing claims:
- Putin has moved his entire family to an underground city in Siberia, though to be a nuclear bunker in the Altai Mountains (earlier reports suggested he moved them to Switzerland)
- Putin has allegedly ordered his military commanders and top advisors to prepare for nuclear drills
- A fleet of Ilyushin Il-80 Maxdomes are on permanent standby
- These so-called “flying Kremlins” would allow Putin and his advisors to stay above the clouds during a potential nuclear war
The Il-80s were set to be replaced by more modern Ilyushin 96-400Ms, but it is unclear if those aircraft have been completed or are ready for service. The modified 747-200 that serves as U.S. presidential transport can also act as a doomsday plane, with aerial refueling capabilities that allow it to remain up in the air indefinitely.
This news from Russian comes on the heels of western intelligence reports that report Putin is increasingly isolated and angry over the stalled advances of his military operation in Ukraine. There is fear that if Putin feels boxed into a corner, he may launch a nuclear strike, reasoning that he has nothing to lose. Reports also suggest that Putin suffers from an oncological condition, Parkinson’s disease, and schizoaffective disorder.
An increasingly erratic Putin just delivered a Trump-like rally declaring victory this week, even as unarmed vehicles transport thousands of dead Russian soldiers into Belarus in the dark of night. While Putin’s mental state may be questionable, the fierce resistance in Ukraine is not: Russia’s latest quagmire has made Putin more desperate. Hopefully he will not become desperate enough to unleash nuclear or chemical weapons.
images: Kirill Naumenko, Dmitry Terekhov
Someone needs to put a bullet in him for the sake of the Russian people, his family and all of humanity.
Nobody can win a nuclear war, but it can be prevented.
That “someone” needs to be a brave Kremlin insider, not one of our guys.
We can’t fix Russia for the Russian people. That’s their job. No small task, obviously. Problem is, if somebody does dispose of Putin (hooray!), then who knows, they next guy could be even worse.
Things are bad. They will get worse (maybe a lot worse, maybe for a long, long time) before they get better. Still, Putin’s demise is a necessary step down the road. I have a feeling it may not be that far away. At that point, strap in, we may be in for some rough sledding.
Tonight’s double feature: Dr Strangelove, followed by The Death Of Stalin. Both excellent films worth re-watching.
“Gee, I wish we had one of those Doomsday Machines…” – General Buck Turgidson, USAF
Agreed. 100%. Can’t be us. And that’s always been the excuse for most Russians supporting Putin… next may be worse. Which is possible.
But it would be a face saving move for them to exit Ukraine and return to a more measured level of hostility. Live to fight another day. If Putin cares about his family, people and legacy he’ll welcome it.
Solid movie options. I’m in Paris so will do as the Fench do when things get crazy… drink more wine and let someone else worry about it.
US always has one on standby.
I can’t imagine anyone wanting to be a survivor of a nuclear war. That life would be more miserable than death. Which means i can’t imagine anyone wanting a nuclear war.
Trump-like rally? You have a way of dragging your otherwise-excellebt posts down with parochial, childish and petulsnt references.
I think Matthew means rallying people together to congratulate themselves that they won something….when they did not. How is that anything but true?
Yes, you are correct. I really don’t mean it with any malice toward Trump supporters, though.
Just Trump himself I would imagine, with some dumb comparison between him and Putin.
@Robbie: I took it to mean that Putin and Trump supporters both consumed Kool-Aid and are prepared to follow their psychotic leader, no matter the lies, to the literal end of the world. And that Putin and Trump are both autocrats who are anti-democratic and their rallies are terrifying. Putin had one yesterday, Trump last Saturday. I agree w/Matt!
Just as irresponsible to cite these claims without multiple sources
There was a similar claim he himself was hiding in that bunker, around the same time he made the appearance with Aeroflot flight attendants. Clearly he hasn’t been in that bunker for any week long duration since the special operation began.
I was waiting for your comment. Sometimes multiple sources are not needed and I didn’t say he was in a bunker. Question for you Greg: what is your opinion of Putin? Do you think the invasion was justified?
I see this article made the Google News feed, nice scary clickbait – exactly what Putin wants and nice traffic source for you.
Escalating fears of nuclear conflict based on single source attribution is irresponsible of you and The Mail. Thought you were higher brow than The Mail.
Fears stoked based on inaccurate information can be very dangerous when armed conflict is involved.
This is not a rumor from Jon NYC about AA domestic meals.
Matt – let me also add the Daily Mail article you link to is from March *1st* – nearly 20 days ago
The way the Daily Mail works is that an article is published and then continually edited, mostly added on to. Pictures are added. New info is added. Obviously, the article was not written in its current form on March 1st considering there are pictures from yesterday’s rally in Moscow.
What are those large pods, one on each wing? They resemble fuel tanks but have what looks like an air intake on the side, which is strange for a fuel tank.
Putin is divorced so no wife to move to shelter.
Secret sources reveal that these pods generate electricity. I have doubts but that’s it for now.
He has a mistress.
Putin and his foreign minister have multiple families – the official one and the one they spend most of their time with. I really don’t think flying high in a plane is the safest place to be. If there was a nuclear war fighters and other weapons certainly would be targeting those aircraft and they aren’t exactly the type (size) that can easily hide.
I love Live and Let’s Fly….but this is a Daily Mail article citing a anonymous person on Telegraph.
I cannot find a single semi-reputable news site corroborating this (the Daily Star, which is mostly celeb gossip, and the Mirror, who have an entire Wikipedia section titled “Libel, contempt of court, errors and criticism” are).
I agreed fully with the defense of clickbait published a little bit back, this also was not what I had in mind
Matthew, a lot of the claims you make are extreme and based on a lot of assumptions. Some of what you report is based on what the international mainstream media reports. It’s completely biased and serves as propaganda. Remember the WMD reporting about Iraq. Much of the same but this is magnified times 10. Using info obtained on telegram is helpful in seeing what is really happening on the ground in Maripoul and elsewhere as the Russians don’t allow their soldiers to carry cell phones. Casualties happen in conflict but the numbers coming out of the Ukrainian defense ministry are on Snake Island level or Ghost of a Kiev: false. Ukraine military forces have suffered heavy losses and the Russians control the entire eastern border and southern border along the sea excluding Odessa (and Maripoul which is encircled). Using telegram to report on what someone says who claims to be close to Putin is beyond comprehension.
The U.S. government routinely flies a doomsday plane (a modified 747) across the country and from base to base so using Russia doing the same as a pretext that it is something is irrational. Russia has conducted drills since 2008 and flies their Tu95s to the U.S. coast.
I really don’t understand you Matthew. One day you are a crusader for free speech and pointing out abuses (Hertz/civil asset forfeiture/secret government lists) and then the next day you repeat the one world government globalist party line. You seem to be concerned about family and personal safety but ignore the specific group culprits that commit a disproportionate amount of the unprovoked violence. I just don’t get it.
Matt is certainly biased but I don’t think that’s a problem since it’s pretty obvious. While this news is interesting, much thanks, Putin has stepped up his rhetoric on threatening nuclear annihilation which undermines his claim that he’s acting in self-defense against an aggressive NATO. I do agree that there is exaggeration by the Ukrainian media but I think the snake island thing was probably real (but they did apparently survive, I’m happy to say.) (Note there are tales that Davy Crockett survived the Alamo. That isn’t to say that nonetheless that last stand wasn’t truly brave.)
A few things that despite heavy pro-Ukrainian bias in the media may not not have been pointed out on the TV news:
1) It is illegal in Russia to call the conflict a “war”. It’s a “special operation”. It’s entirely possible millions of Russians think this is just a slightly larger excursion similar to the Donbass conflict.
2) Putin’s popularity continues to be polled high (via statistica) but note that many Russians hang up the phone on pollsters out of fear of, quote “going to prison for 15 years”. Pro-Putin rallies are well attended because they’re legal. 3) Putin recently made a speech threatening those who are against him. Russians tell me this is directed against the wealthy oligarchs who are fleeing and dropping support for him.
4) Putin has put his FSB (Russia CIA) directors on house arrest because they told him what they wanted to hear.
And so on. Putin’s mannerisms since the 2nd week of the conflict onward has been uncharacteristically emotional unlike his cool KGB charm. There are measures in the former USSR at least against trigger happy red-button Dr. Strangelove leaders such as Stanislav Petrov (please look him up) who singlehandedly saved all of our lives.
Although the One World Globalist Party Line here is against Putin, for a change, I agree with them. It’s ironic that at the beginning of all this, back in 2008, most Ukrainians didn’t WANT to be in NATO. Putin alienated Ukraine right away from him like treating a girlfriend badly and then getting angry she has eyes for someone else.
The devastation in the east of the country has ironically achieved what Putin had said he entered the “operation’ to prevent: the ethnic cleansing of Russians from Ukraine. Russians have left these bombed out cities and migrated to Russia probably never to return. The remaining now have switched allegiance. Not all, of course, but over the course of 14+ years Putin’s resistance to Ukrainian nationalism has only solidified it and increased the funding of the NATO alliance.
In any case, I have no ill will towards Russia because my lifetime dream is to ride the Trans-Siberian railway as part of a global circumnavigation bucket list item. I have friends in cities all along the way so I hope for their safety.
Trump has been gone for more than a year. Move on please! References to him distract from your reporting and turn-off half your readers. The current Administration of Joe Biden, encouraged Russian and Chinese bad behavior with his disastrous exit from Afganistan, as well as his war on domestic energy production. Bowing to Iran or Saudi Arabia are both pathetic and wrong headed.
Fake news…I can not find a single reliable source online about this article..if this was true CNN other news outlets would have this as breaking news plus USA would have a statement about this the only articles of this story are coming from tabloids mirror daily mail and websites I’ve never heard of…ours a pity it’s actually made headlines on Google search though but all seem to be unreliable web pages ….you should be assamed of yourself spreading fear like this as nuclear war is a very SERIOUS situation and thank god I did my homework…