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New Pulkovo Laser Attack

Published: September 14, 2013 (Issue # 1777)



  • The number of laser attacks on planes in Russia is rising every year.
    Photo: Dmitry Avdeev / Wikimedia Commons

The pilots of a Canadian aircraft in the area of Pulkovo airport were temporarily blinded with a laser on Saturday, Interfax reported.

A message regarding the incident was sent by the pilot of Airbus-310, who said that someone using a green laser from a distance of about 50 kilometers had pointed it towards the aircraft. Despite the laser attack, the crew decided to continue the flight.

The anonymous source told Interfax that the aircraft belonged to the Canadian Armed Forces. However, Interfax did not have official confirmation of this information.

August saw a spate of similar attacks in both Moscow and St. Petersburg, including five reported incidents in one week. While laser pointers being directed at planes has become an ever-increasing problem in other countries, Russia is also becoming an unwilling member of this trend, with the number of attacks in Russia rising every year after only five attacks were reported in 2010.

Republic of Chechnya President Ramzan Kadyrov went as far as to ban the sale of laser pointers in July 2011 after a plane was attacked while descending into Grozny. The Russian Premier League, the country’s professional soccer league, also banned laser pointers from stadiums after fans used them in an attempt to blind goalkeepers.

The lower Duma will review a bill this fall that proposes a maximum punishment of seven years in prison for shining a laser beam at an airplane.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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