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Jan. 31, 2007
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Russian Presidents Jet Goes Online
Voronezh Aircraft had to explain Tuesday the leakage of snapshots of the interior of the Russian presidents jet which was produced at the plant. Russian special services have shown interests to the blog which posted the pictures.
About 30 snapshots of the presidents Il-96-300-PU(M) appeared last Thursday in a Live Journal blog, http://hectop.livejournal.com. A Russian broadsheet published a few pictures on the following day without quoting the source. The Voronezh Aircraft plant, the jets producer, said that the pictures show the Il-96 that was used by former President Boris Yeltsin.

The interior decoration of the plane by Britains Diamonite Aircraft Furnishings was worth some $17 million. On the whole, the presidents planet cost the Russian budget from $45 to $60 million, according to various estimates. The interior space includes the presidents study and bedroom as well as premises for his aids, securities, other personnel, bathroom, lavatory, kitchen and conference room.

The person who posted the snapshots insists that they show Putins aircraft. He declined to name the source. Speaking to Kommersant, the man introduced himself as Yury and said he lives in the United States. Yury says that Russian intelligence services have shown interest to the pictures as he has noticed their e-protocols in his blog. I emailed them to give information about these pictures, he told Kommersant. Its up to them whether to give it to Voronezh Aircraft or not.

Voronezh Aircrafts director general said the information about such a top-security objective as the presidents aircraft ought to be closely guarded.

The pictures triggered heated discussion among Live Journals users, most users calling the interior lavish and kitsch.


All the Article in Russian as of Jan. 31, 2007

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