MOSCOW, Russia – A week before the Russian presidential election, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an interview for a two-hour documentary titled “Putin” by Andrei Kondrashov. During the interview, he spoke about a plane-hijacking scare, the work of Russian soldiers in Aleppo in 2016, Russian-German relations and how he cannot show weakness in the face of so many problems.
“The chief of security headquarters for the Olympic Games was calling. He said that a plane flying from Ukraine to Istanbul was seized; that captors demand a landing in Sochi. The answer was expected. To shoot it down”, Putin said.
The Russian president was talking about a Turkish Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737-800 flying from Kharkiv to Istanbul, which reported that one of the passengers was armed with a bomb. The call had been a false alarm however, as the passenger in question was found to be drunk and so the plane continued on its way to Turkey.
In the interview, Putin also spoke about the Russian soldiers who were deployed in Aleppo in 2016, who “were fighting for 72 hours day and night, placed landmines, burned enemy’s armored personnel carriers during a break”.
Russian forces played a key role in liberating the entirety of Aleppo city, Syria’s largest city. It was expected that with the liberation of Aleppo, the Syrian government saw the beginning of the end of the war that will ultimately see its victory. Since the liberation of Aleppo, the Syrian Army with Russian support have gone on to liberate huge swathes of territory from ISIS, lift the siege on Deir Ezzor, liberate huge areas of southern Idlib countryside and are now on the verge of purging all terrorist forces in the East Ghouta region to the east of Damascus city center.
Elsewhere in Syria, government forces have found a chemical weapons workshop used by terrorist groups in the East Ghouta region. Further details can be found here.