Reports began circulating on the internet on Friday, May 10, that a Turkish airliner – flying from Moscow to Antalya in Turkey – entered the Kharkiv airspace in Ukraine before flying over Bakhmut, a city that saw one of the most intense hostilities in the war in Ukraine.

There was also a screenshot attached to the reports, where the plane could be seen on Flight Radar 24, an online flight tracker, with the flight number and time clearly visible.

However, the plane was likely hundreds of kilometers east of where it was shown, within the Russian airspace, with a wrong location displayed due to the electronic warfare (EW) interference prevalent along the border.


Photo: Telegram/Insider UA

According to FlightRadar 24, STW002 is the air traffic control name and radio callsign (“Southwind flight zero-zero-two”) given to the flight crew of a Boeing 777-312 operated by Turkish Southwind Airlines with daily flights from Moscow to Antalya. Kyiv Post also managed to locate the record of the route STW002’s flight on May 10, where the site said part of the flight was outside of its coverage – including the section where it allegedly flew over Bakhmut.

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The purple lines are the recorded flight, with the dotted lines being the plane’s projected flight path outside of the site’s coverage. The red line is the direct line of measure between the origin and destination. Photo: FlightRadar 24

However, a supposed aviation expert told Ukrainian news outlet TSN that it might simply be a “failure” of FlightRadar 24 in determining the exact location of flights since “there are a lot of EW and other equipment working now.”


“No sober pilot of a civilian vessel would fly there,” he said.

This might also be a common occurrence – in another instance, Kyiv Post discovered the Russian Aeroflot AFL2130 flight flying from Moscow to Istanbul over Ukrainian airspace in the Luhansk region.

Photo: FlightRadar 24

However, later the flight path appeared over Russia’s Volgograd region, hundreds of miles east of where it was seen in the screenshot.

With the evidence available, Kyiv Post believed the report of a Russian airliner flying over Ukraine to be extremely unlikely, and the report could likely be attributed to the errors within the flight tracking program that arose from EW interference.

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