You don’t often see a Russian-built jetliner touching down at Washington Dulles International Airport, but an Ilyushin Il-96-300 recently arrived on an odd mission: evacuate Russian diplomats accused of engaging in espionage from Washington and New York before returning to Moscow.
Russian Jetliner Travels To Washington, DC + New York To Evacuate Expelled Diplomats Accused Of Spying
The four-engine jet touched first touched down at Washington Dulles (IAD) on Saturday, March 5, 2022. Rossiya flight RSD88 traveled from St. Petersburg (LED) on a circuitous 12 hour, 35 minute flight to avoid European Union and Canadian airspace. While Russian aircraft are also currently banned from U.S. airspace, an exception was granted to pick up a team of expelled diplomats, as well as their families.
Why? According to United States Mission to the United Nations, the operatives “abused their privileges of residency” by engaging in espionage activity:
“The United States has informed the United Nations and the Russian Permanent Mission to the United Nations that we are beginning the process of expelling twelve intelligence operatives from the Russian Mission who have abused their privileges of residency in the United States by engaging in espionage activities that are adverse to our national security. We are taking this action in accordance with the UN Headquarters Agreement. This action has been in development for several months.”
A U.S. State Department official later confirmed that the reason for the flight:
“The U.S. government approved a flight chartered by the Russian government to facilitate the departure of Russian UN Mission personnel who were expelled for abuse of their privileges of residence. This special exception was done in accordance with federal regulations to ensure Russian mission personnel and their families departed by the date we had instructed.”
It isn’t clear why these diplomats and their families were not forced to fly commercial.
After arriving in Washington at 2:15pm on Saturday, the aircraft traveled to New York (JFK) on Sunday, departing at 2:20pm and arriving at 3:16pm. More diplomats and their families were picked up before the aircraft took off at 7:32pm for Moscow Vnukovo (VKO), where it landed earlier today at 1:39pm.
A Russian-made IL-96 jetliner traveled to Washington, DC and New York to pick up expelled diplomats accused of being spies. The aircraft was granted a special exception to enter U.S. airspace and is now back in Moscow.
(image: Dmitry Terekhov // H/T: One Mile At A Time)
Why hasn’t ukraine taken the war to Russia? Time to bomb their cities that have high support for the war. Russia is doing it already in ukraine. Bombing civilians.
Will that be considered terrorism?
I believe they are Diplomats. The Russians expelled the same number of OUR Diplomats 2-3 weeks ago. So this is just tit-for-tat. And should we call our guys ‘Spies’ as well? I believe both sides do a fair amount of ‘spying’ on each other. After all, that’s their job.
Of course the Americans spy too. They’d be derelict in duty if they didn’t.
Update if anyone is interested. Our Lviv relatives are fine, for now. We offered them evacuation to the states but they’re find staying where they are. My father-in-law in Odessa is keeping his condominium secure and has food, but flour, sugar, and other baking goods are sold out perhaps as people plan for using staples to get food to last longer. There was talk that Putin has offered to end the “peacekeeping mission” if Ukraine agrees to not enter NATO which I think is good news as that appears to be a face-saving gesture. We speak with relatives daily and internet appears to also be working. Polish friends have reached out and offered to also take our Ukrainian relatives in.
Nope, not interested. Risk of living in these places.
I have an uncle now down 3.7 million on consumer goods stocks in the past weeks not counting his basic S&P 500 funds.
I doubt anyone cares about his situation either. Risk of living in America, working hard and investing in the market.
Thank you for this update. Lviv should be relatively safe. You guys have to get rid of zelensky when the war is over. Agreeing not to be part of NATO is square 1. He could have agreed to this before and saved all the misery. He clearly has no clue.
But it is still admirable how he has maintained cool under pressure. Our last president was a whiner. Kept complaining about everything. And his supporters, white Republican men loved all his whining. Really weird. Next, you will have people whining about losing money in the stock market and how no one cares. Where the fyck do these guys wake up from?
I see Debit puts his faith in Adolph Vladimirovich and thinks Ukraine should cut a deal with that devil and his White Russian demons. He also seems to take exception to the past president whining about some pay for play deal involving uranium, Obama and Clinton. Of course there never was any problem about Russia controlling US uranium mining – after all they need it for their expanding nuclear operations in Ukraine and Chernobyl demonstrated that they are the world’s leading experts in safe nuclear power . As for the stock market, all I hear is some oligarchs whining in Russia about a market melt down. Any US losses in the stock market pale to what the young, poor, elderly and those on fixed incomes will feel thanks to the inflation caused by the current administration. Black female Democrats should have known voting for someone who admires Jefferson Davis enough to work hard to restore his citizenship was going to end badly.
I must say it’s a beautiful airplane.
Shows how good looks can be deceiving. A jet fighter can look sharp but be lousy. A Russian woman can be good looking but often has herpes…no joke.
The revealed seroprevalence of HSV-2 in Arkhangelsk, Northwest Russia is higher than in most European countries.
I wonder who got to sit in business class. Could a spouse join you? What about kids? I’d rather defect than fly for 12 hours in Y on an IL-96.
Matt – good question. Do you know if this configuration has business class seats? If so, wonder who got the upgrades.
The US is legally obliged to allow recognized foreign sovereigns to recall their own diplomatic personnel under the conditions seen fit by the recognized sovereign.
They should have been forced to find their own “safe passage”!
Look up the youtube clip of the 1970 film Patton; toward the end he describes in a telephone call with another U.S. general exactly what should have been done with and to those people.