An Iranian aircraft owned by Pouya Air

Iranian Aircraft Takes Off From Closed Simferopol Airport In Crimea

Friday, 09/08/2023

UPDATE - Flightradar24 later issued this notice - Following up on this, it was data uploaded by a software sharer. We’ve disabled the source and continue to implement additional measures to prevent any inauthentic data.

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An Iranian transport aircraft recently departed from the closed Simferopol airport in Crimea, raising questions about the nature of Iranian involvement in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The aircraft, the IL-76TD owned by Pouya Air, took off from Simferopol at 17:09 local time, having arrived in Crimea just two hours prior. Simferopol airport has been closed for civilian air travel since the commencement of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. The development was reported by Flightradar24, a prominent air travel tracking service. 

Pouya Airlines has dismissed reports about the flight in the Crimean Peninsula to assist Russian forces as "pure fabrication." The airline stated that the aircraft had been parked at Mehrabad Airport for the past 48 hours.

Ukrainian military sources have previously alleged that Russian forces stationed in Crimea have been utilizing the Chauda training ground to launch Iranian-made Shahed-136/131 drones into Ukrainian territory. However, there is no confirmed information regarding the presence of Iranian personnel assisting Russian military operations during these drone launches.

It is noteworthy that Russia began employing Iranian-produced Shahed drones for attacks deep within Ukrainian territory the previous year. These so-called kamikaze unmanned drones possess the capability to operate without the need for a conventional runway, detonating upon impact.

Iran has publicly acknowledged sending drones to Russia but has maintained that these deliveries occurred prior to Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Moscow, on the other hand, has consistently denied employing Iranian drones in Ukrainian conflicts. Nonetheless, Ukraine has repeatedly reported the consistent bombardment from Iranian drones in Russian hands.

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