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Private Jets of Russian Oligarchs Keep Flying but Not to Europe

In the two years before the war in Ukraine, a private Boeing 737 linked to Russian oligarch Vladimir Yevtushenkov criss-crossed the globe, taking in the French Riviera, the Maldives and Seychelles along with world capitals and financial centres.

This year, instead of traditional playgrounds of the well-heeled, the jet has visited ex-Soviet states Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Belarus a handful of times, along with China, flight tracking data by Flightradar24 shows.

In a sign of both the limitations and reach of Western sanctions in place since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, some of Russia’s rich and powerful are finding ways to keep personal jets airborne, Reuters reporting shows, but the restrictions have sharply curtailed where the planes can travel.

The Boeing linked to Yevtushenkov was among at least 50 private jets re-registered under the Russian flag since the February 2022 invasion, according to previously unreported national aircraft registry data up to early August reviewed by Reuters.

Several of the repatriated private jets were associated with prominent politicians and business figures, according to two senior Russian aviation industry sources, who were not authorised to speak to the media and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The two sources said Yevtushenkov personally used the Boeing-737, which until last year bore the logo of the company he founded, telecoms-to-timber conglomerate AFK Sistema (AFKS.MM), pictures on website Jetphotos show.

Yevtushenkov said he would not respond to questions about the aircraft, including whether he uses the plane. Yevtushenkov formally ceded control of Sistema after the United Kingdom imposed sanctions on him last year. He remains the main shareholder of the group.

Russia’s aviation authority, Rosaviatsiya, and the Ministry of Transport did not respond to requests for comment. There is no suggestion companies associated with the planes have contravened any sanctions with the repatriations or ongoing flights.

Source : Reuters