Russian Adventurers Fined After Flight To Northern Canada


A Russian billionaire adventurer and an associate were stopped at Yellowknife Airport in Canada’s Northwest Territories last week for busting Canada’s ban on Russians in its airspace. Apparently, the ban transcends just aircraft since the Falcon 900 the duo arrived on after a direct flight from Geneva Switzerland is registered in the Cayman Islands and owned by a company in the British Virgin Islands, according to research done by the National Post. Onboard was Vasily Shakhnovsky, a former top Russian oil executive found guilty on corruption charges in Russia in 2003, and mountaineer Vasily Yelagin. The two were apparently in Canada’s North for a dress rehearsal of their plan to drive land vehicles on a polar circumnavigation. The trip is billed as the TransGlobal Car Expedition.

On Friday, Canadian officials announced the occupants, including the pilots, and owners of the aircraft had been fined a total of about $18,000 USD for violating its ban on Russian operators in its airspace. According to Canadian officials, the ban extends to “Russian nationals” who charter aircraft that enter its airspace. Canada released the aircraft to fly back to Geneva but it was not allowed to take any passengers. It’s still not clear what became of Shakhnovsky and Yelagin. They were not arrested by Canadian authorities and reportedly spent several days at a local hotel while the issues with the aircraft were dealt with. Assuming all this gets sorted out, the duo is planning to be back in Yellowknife in February of 2023 to start a four-month drive to Greenland’s capital city of Nuuk via the North Pole.

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  1. If this aircraft had been confiscated, the Canadian authorities would have sent a strong message to those business organizations who aid and abet the attempts of the ostracized Russian elates to evade the sanctions.

  2. When one inflexible bureaucracy shows its outrage/irkedness toward policies of another inflexible bureaucracy by throwing its weight around, but aimed at individuals who in all likelihood have nothing to do with any bureaucracy’s policy-making. Symbolic and, in the bigger picture, not helpful. But Rules is Rules, and it made the headlines so I guess that’s what counts.

  3. They acquired the Russian oil industry through corruption.
    They are using airplanes to fly cars to the north pole because they have nothing else to do.
    The fine is less than a single fuel bill.
    Yeah, I’m sure that’ll stop ’em!

  4. Vladimir Putin’s approval rating in Russia is about 70%. This will certainly decline as Russian soldiers start returning home in body bags but Putin will deal with this just as he has in Chechnya where he wantonly levels cities when there is any resistance. The Russian people will continue to support Putin as long as he is “winning” and, as reported in the last few days, he controls virtually all information in Russia so their perception of his conduct is whatever he tells them it is.

    Putin’s reign must be terminated. This will only happen only when the Russian people realize that they, each and every citizen, has suddenly become a pariah everywhere in the world because of their support for their 21st century Lenin. That will happen only when the rest of the world:

    • sends ALL Russian passport holders home
    • denies worldwide port access to all Russian and allied shipping
    • denies Russian air traffic access to airports and airspace
    • suspends sale or lease to or for Russia of all products, food and drugs
    • boycotts ALL Russian goods and commodities, including energy

    Notwithstanding a global thermonuclear war, we are stuck with President Trump’s comrade until such time as the Russian populace realizes what a despot they have created. Only they, not the oligarchs, can remove Putin and the sooner freedom loving countries make the lives of the rank-and-file Russian as miserable as possible the sooner they, hopefully, will take action to reclaim their position as citizens of the world.