Flight Interrupted: Russian security forces may now shoot illegal drones out of the sky
MPs at the State Duma have ratified the legislation in the final reading on Thursday. From now on, Russian law enforcement would be able to remotely take control of suspect UAVs and ground them, or to shoot them down if other means prove ineffective. Identifying the pilot and seizing control of the UAV from him or her is also an option.
Drones pose real dangers to planes as a collision caused by a hapless or a malicious quadcopter operator may well end in tragedy, Vasily Piskarev, from the Duma’s Security Committee, said.
This summer, drones that were launched by unknown persons became a real menace to pilots engaged in tackling the massive wildfires in Siberia. They were also recently spotted above nuclear facilities, military installations, restricted cities and other key infrastructure.
The agencies that have been granted permission to curb drone flights include the Federal Security Service (FSB), the Interior Ministry, the National Guard and the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).
The Federal Protective Service (FPS), which is tasked with safeguarding Russia’s top officials and high-profile federal properties like the Kremlin, is also on the list. With the Kremlin being among Moscow’s top tourist attractions, there have been attempts to make drone videos of the historic site, despite it also being the official residence of President Putin.
The agency that maintains order at the country’s penal institutions will also be able to bring down drones, as “there are many examples when unmanned aerial vehicles were used to deliver drugs, SIM-cards, mobile phones and other items prohibited in prisons and penal colonies,” Piskarev explained.
Drones are in high demand in Russia; more than 160,000 of them were purchased in 2018 alone. A special registration is required in the country to own a UAV weighing more than 250 grams. The illegal use of a drone may result in a fine of up to 300,000 rubles (around $4,700), with criminal liability introduced to proceedings if the flight causes grievous bodily harm or a fatality.Also on rt.com Russian security forces granted permission to shoot down ‘unsafe’ drones
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