New Pulkovo Laser Attack
Published: September 14, 2013 (Issue # 1777)
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.