Putin vows payback after Kremlin confirms bomb downed Russian plane over Egypt
President Vladimir Putin gives his words to hunt down those accountable for blustering up a Russian airliner over Egypt and exaggerate air strikes against Islamists in Syria, after the Kremlin concluded a bomb had destroyed the plane last month, killing 224 people.
“We will find them anywhere on the planet and punish them,” Putin said at a somber Kremlin meeting broadcast on Tuesday. The FSB security service rapidly declared a $50 million bounty on the bombers.
Until now, Russia had played down assertions from Western countries that the Oct. 31 crash was the work of terrorists, saying it was important to let the official investigation run its course.
But four days after Islamist gunmen and bombers killed at least 129 people in Paris, Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the FSB, told a late-night meeting that traces of foreign-made explosive had found on fragments of the downed plane and passengers’ personal belongings.
“According to an analysis by our specialists, a homemade bomb containing up to 1 kilogram of TNT detonated during the flight, causing the plane to break up in mid-air. Which explains why parts of the fuselage were spread over such a large distance,” said Bortnikov at the meeting in footage released by the Kremlin.