The Russian Ministry of Defense has issued a new bill authorizing its troops to shoot down civil aircraft in the country's airspace, considered a danger to those on the ground.
The draft document has been included in a list of new laws proposed by the government, signed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, which is expected to enter into force next month. Moscow Times reported.
The paper noted that the current rules included contradictory clauses allowing the armed forces to fire on hijacked civil aircraft, while prohibiting the destruction of aircraft if it was known that passengers were on board.
The new rules refer to passenger planes crossing unauthorized Russian airspace that do not respond to Russian communication and warning signals and "refuse to obey orders to land" or to leave. Legislation provided that soldiers could use warning shots to try to force such planes to land; otherwise they could shoot down the plane.
The new draft rules also stated that the authorities had to start responding to any such aircraft within 50 km of the Russian border and that the rules also applied to intrusions into military planes and drones. .
Drastic action would only be considered if the hijacked aircraft was considered an imminent threat and "there is a real risk of death or environmental accident, including the direct threat of an air attack on critical infrastructure". Moscow Times Explain.
The legislation provided that aircraft could be shot down if there were no hostages. However, the wording is vague and does not explicitly specify the course of action if civilians are detained by hijackers. Nor did it state whether the crews on board, such as pilots and flight attendants, would be considered hostages.
Pro-Kremlin daily Izvestia S addressing senator Frants Klintsevich, he explained: "Unfortunately, the airline passengers will die, but that will prevent an even more terrible disaster." He added that new legislation was needed to that Russia is able to cope with the unforeseen in "many other countries. "
Russia is still the subject of an international investigation for its alleged role in the destruction of Flight 17 of Malaysia Airlines, a passenger aircraft shot down over Ukraine in 2014, making 298 dead on board.
The plane was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur as it flew over the east of the country, where Russian-backed militias were still fighting and fighting with Ukrainian government troops.
Dutch investigators have concluded that the plane was destroyed by a ground-to-air missile fired by a Russian anti-aircraft battery driven by Russian soldiers, who thought they were aiming for a Ukrainian military aircraft. Investigators said that the team then quickly crossed the border to return to Russia.
Russia has always denied these allegations, even claiming that the missile was fired by Ukrainian forces. The Netherlands also said that Kremlin-backed hackers had targeted the investigation in order to steal the information collected.
On August 25, 2015, a Sukhoi Superjet 100 performs at an air show in Zhukovsky, on the outskirts of Moscow. KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP / Getty Images