Vladimir Rodionov/Sputnik Among all Russian leaders Vladimir Putin is the most devoted aviation fan. Besides the Kremlin’s “Air Force One” and government helicopters, he has flown a powered hang glider, fighter jets and even a supersonic strategic bomber. Stalin was afraid to fly. He boarded a plane just twice in his life, when he flew from Baku to the Tehran conference and back. Remarkably, he declined all Soviet aircraft and chose the American-made C-47 Douglas Skytrain. His first official visit to the U.S. Nikita Khrushchev made on the giant Tu-114 long-range airliner, which was based on the Tu-95 strategic bomber. After landing at Joint Base Andrews, the Americans couldn’t find a mobile staircase high enough for such an aircraft. Khrushchev and the Soviet delegation were forced to descend down on a fire truck ladder. Nikita Khrushchev’s preferred plane was the Il-18 four-engined airliner. He liked the idea that even if two engines failed, the … [Read more...] about From Stalin to Putin: What do Russian leaders fly?
Vladimir Putin will take questions from dozens of journalists on Thursday in a massive annual press conference known for pageantry and colourful quotes. More than 1,700 journalists were accredited to attend what state television called the “main media event of the year”. This number was a new record, as it is most years. The marathon conference has run up to four hours and 40 minutes in the past. The gathering could be a rare chance to ask Mr Putin about the Salisbury attack after the United States on Wednesday sanctioned the two Russian intelligence operatives accused of the poisoning. The Russian leader has previously claimed the men were civilians and called the allegations against them “nonsense”. He has not been asked directly about reporting by The Telegraph and others that revealed the men's true identities as GRU officers Anatoly Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin. Following the news that the US is to pull out of Syria, it's hoped that Mr Putin will address … [Read more...] about Putin’s annual press conference provides rare chance to challenge Russian leader on Salisbury
DONALD Trump has this afternoon dramatically scrapped his G20 meeting with Vladimir Putin to punish the Russian leader for refusing to release seized Ukrainian sailors. Tweeting while on his way to the G20 summit, Trump called off the much-heralded crisis talks amid the increasing tensions on the troubled Crimean peninsula. He wrote: "Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin. "I look forward to a meaningful Summit again as soon as this situation is resolved." The shock news comes just hours after a Russian official said the two leaders would meet to discuss ways to break diplomatic deadlocks over Syria, Iran and North Korea. However, the Kremlin insider did not mention Russia's latest clash with the Ukraine which has put the Crimea on a war footing. The one-on-one was scheduled for Saturday … [Read more...] about Donald Trump dramatically CANCELS G20 showdown with Putin to punish rogue Russian leader for refusing to release seized Ukrainian sailors
INTERPOL has rejected "ex-KGB" agent Alexander Prokopchuk as its new president amid fears he would target the Russian leader's critics. The appointment of acting president South Korean Kim Jong Yang will be considered a snub to Russia's president Vladimir Putin after the Kremlin favourite was widely tipped to win the race. Mr Kim was chosen by the international police body's 194 member states at its annual congress meeting in Dubai. The 57-year-old's selection, announced by Interpol on Twitter this morning, will come as a relief to those who feared Mr Prokopchuk, a general in Russia's interior ministry, could abuse the position to crack down on Putin's critics. Currently Interpol's vice-president, the alleged former KGB agent had been accused of abusing the arrest warrant system. Kim, who had been serving as acting president, will now serve a two-year term at the body's annual congress in Dubai. British MPs, who yesterday warned that electing Mr Prokopchuk would be like putting … [Read more...] about Interpol rejects Putin’s ‘ex-KGB’ agent Alexander Prokopchuk as new president amid fears he would target Russian leader’s critics
Turkish and Russian leaders mark completion of pipeline project phase BelfastTelegraph.co.uk Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have marked the completion of a key phase of TurkStream, a natural gas pipeline connecting the two countries. https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/turkish-and-russian-leaders-mark-completion-of-pipeline-project-phase-37543418.html https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/article37543415.ece/ad618/AUTOCROP/h342/bpanews_72eabf8e-d9c5-4c7d-8713-e7590c9b8b0e_1 Email Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have marked the completion of a key phase of TurkStream, a natural gas pipeline connecting the two countries. Speaking at a ceremony in Istanbul, Mr Erdogan announced the offshore part of TurkStream’s two parallel lines two kilometres deep in the Black Sea had been finished and said the final leg of the “historic project” … [Read more...] about Turkish and Russian leaders mark completion of pipeline project phase