Russia says Putin won't die in a plane crash because their domestic aircraft 'are very reliable vehicles'

  • Recent aviation accidents have claimed the lives of Iran's president and Malawi's vice president.

  • But Russia says Vladimir Putin is safe if he travels on their "very reliable" domestic aircraft.

  • Russian flight safety incidents have more than doubled in the past year, per JACDEC.

A Russian official says the country's leader, Vladimir Putin, won't get caught in a plane crash if he travels on domestic aircraft, state news agency TASS reported on Tuesday.

"The Russian president uses domestic aircraft. These are very reliable vehicles," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

Peskov was speaking at a press briefing when he was asked about the recent aviation accidents that claimed the lives of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Malawi's Vice President Saulos Chilima.

Raisi was flying over northwestern Iran when his helicopter crashed on May 19. Iran's foreign minister, the governor of Iran's East Azerbaijan province, and other officials were also on board the helicopter. No one survived the deadly incident.

Chilima, meanwhile, was killed in a plane crash along with nine other passengers on Tuesday. Malawi's President Lazarus Chakwera said Chilima's plane was found "completely destroyed" near a hill in northern Malawi.

However, Peskov said such incidents were unlikely to occur with Russian aircraft, given what he said were Russia's rigorous safety standards.

"All machinery in our country that transports citizens is also maintained at the proper level. There are very strict standards in this regard, which are, of course, observed," Peskov said.

"We have monitoring agencies," he continued. "The system works."

To be sure, Russia doesn't exactly have the best record when it comes to flight safety.

In February, the Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre (JACDEC) revealed that Russian flight safety incidents have more than doubled in the past year, going from 37 cases in 2022 to 81 in 2023.

The Russian aviation industry's flight safety problems are in large part due to crippling economic sanctions the West imposed following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Such restrictions have made it difficult for Russia's airlines to maintain their aircraft since they can't buy new planes or parts.

In fact, the number of flight safety incidents in Russia might be much higher, says JACDEC founder and CEO Jan-Arwed Richter.

"These numbers only reflect cases that became public. There is still a dark figure of unreported incidents," Richter told The Telegraph in February.

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