A fleet of Russian government planes took off from Moscow today

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A fleet of VIP transport aircraft belonging to the Russian Air Force Detachment "Rossiya" took off from Moscow Vnukovo Airport (VKO) in the early hours of March 17, 2022. 

They are tasked with transporting Russian government officials. According to Planespotters, "Rossiya" operates 29 aircraft, most of which are Russian-made Tupolev Tu-214, Ilyushin Il-96 and Sukhoi Superjet 100.

The fleet of government planes that took off from Moscow today

  • RuAF Tupolev Tu-204-300 RSD3
  • RuAF Sukhoi Superjet 100-95B RSD71
  • RuAF A319-115CJ RSD72
  • RuAF An-148-100E RSD73
  • RuAF Ilyushin The 96-300PU RSD74
  • RuAF Tupolev Tu-214PU RSD78
  • RuAF Tupolev Tu-214SR RSD79
  • RuAF SuperJet 100-95B RSD80

At least 10 of these aircraft were observed taking off from VKO starting at 8:48 AM MSK (5:48 GMT) and heading east on various flight routes. 

At approximately 9:14 AM MSK, one of the planes, namely the Tu-214SR aircraft, registered RA-64516, entered the hold south of Tumen.

Currently, all the planes in the convoy have landed in various Russian cities. The first aircraft to take off, the Tupolev Tu-214PU (reg. RA-64532), landed at 10:04 GMT in Novosibirsk (OVB) before taking off again 22 minutes later and returned to Moscow. followed by at least one other aircraft (Airbus A319-115CJ, reg. RA-73025). The RA-64516 aircraft landed in Omsk at 11:34 GMT, before taking off later for Moscow. Other planes landed in Surgut, Tyumen, Omsk and Ufa, as well as several other cities in Russia. 

It is not known exactly how many planes were in the convoy because not all Rossiya planes are equipped with ADS-B transponders or how many kept the transponders closed. It is not known exactly what officers were on board or whether it was just a diversion.

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