Tuesday, September 21, 2021
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HomeEnglishCoronavirus: Did Russia Announce Closure of Its Airspace For China?

Coronavirus: Did Russia Announce Closure of Its Airspace For China?


Russia announces the closure of airspace and suspension of all its incoming and outgoing flights to China.


Coronavirus, an epidemic that started late December last year, has fallen prey to misinformation. Personal interest, political motivation, ideological or religious beliefs, there could be several possibilities that can be blamed for the effective spread of misinformation regarding coronavirus. While we have debunked multiple reports on misinformation about coronavirus in the past, we were flagged to fact check a claim which states that the Russian authorities have announced the closure of the airspace and the suspension of all its incoming and outgoing flights to China. Along with the airspace closure information, a list of preventive measures from the coronavirus is also a part of the claim. The claim has been widely shared and this is how it reached us to fact check.

As we began our fact check, we first checked the official Twitter handle of the Russian Government as regular updates regarding the daily functioning of the Russian Govt are updated here. We didn’t find any specific detail to conclude, however, there were other important and noteworthy announcements which are listed below.

The tweet informing the temporary restriction of the arrival of Chinese nationals to Russia.

The tweet informing the temporary restriction on the movement of Chinese citizens in some sections of Russia and partial closing of land borders.

The tweet suggests the preventive measure from the coronavirus.

The tweet informing the partial restriction on flights.

The tweet informing the extension in the restrictions.

The tweet informing Russia’s take on Chinese students in the country.

The tweet informing the suspension of air services to South Korea.

The tweet informing the ban of transit visas to travelers from Iran and tourist visas to Iranian nationals.

The latest tweet on coronavirus by the official handle of the Russian government.

After checking the official Twitter handle of the Russian government thoroughly, we checked media reports and other official’s statements to collect more information on the issue. During our investigation, we found the latest statement released by the Russian government in the wake of coronavirus.

Briefing by Tatyana Golikova and Head of the Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare Anna Popova following the meeting of the emergency response centre to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in Russia

The meeting of the emergency response centre was held on 26 February 2020. Excerpts from the transcript: Tatyana Golikova: Good afternoon, colleagues. Today’s meeting of the emergency response centre is over. First of all, we had to decide on the feasibility of extending the restrictions that are in effect until 1 March 2020 and relate to the land border, flights and various other bans.

An excerpt from the official statement reads, “We are extending until 1 April all the restrictions that are in effect until 1 March. Tomorrow the responsible federal executive authorities will submit the relevant regulatory documents for signature to the Prime Minister. The same applies to restrictions on hosting international events. Let me remind you that we extended the university winter break for students from the People’s Republic of China until 1 March. But since it was later decided to put restrictions on student visas, today we also discussed online education arrangements. The Minister of Science and Higher Education reported that such an education option is available at most higher education institutions, and received an additional instruction – to fully assess the situation so that we can ensure the right of Chinese students to study at Russian universities, but through an online format. Regarding additional measures, in the light of the available and incoming information about the situation in South Korea, Iran and Italy, we separately evaluated measures which the Russian Federation could take in this connection and decided that from midnight on 1 March we will suspend all South Korea flights except those operated by Aeroflot and its subsidiary Aurora. Aurora will run charter flights until all Russian citizens are brought back from the Republic of Korea. Aeroflot will continue service to Moscow, and citizens arriving from the Republic of Korea will also pass through Terminal F at Sheremetyevo Airport.”

Now, as it was evident from our fact check that the Russian government had imposed some temporary and partial ban on the movement of Chinese nationals, we tried to know the current status of the ban and its types.

We found a story published by Reuters that reports the conduct of air services between China and other countries. The report was published on February 29, 2020, at 01:24 AM. 

Factbox: Airlines suspend flights due to coronavirus outbreak

(Reuters) – Airlines have been suspending flights or modifying service in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Below are details (in alphabetical order): **American Airlines () – Extends suspension of China and Hong Kong flights through April 24 **Air France () – Said on Feb.

Reporting the status of air services between China and Russia, Reuters’ story mentions that “All Russian airlines, with the exception of national airline Aeroflot (AFLT.MM), stopped flying to China from Jan. 31. Small airline Ikar will also continue flights between Moscow and China. All planes arriving from China will be sent to a separate terminal in the Moscow Sheremetyevo airport. Aeroflot reduced the frequency of flights to Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou until Feb. 29.”

We also found a report published by Washington Post that throws more light on the issue.

Opinion | Russia and China are taking different but equally dangerous approaches to coronavirus

TWO OPPOSING but equally malignant approaches to the coronavirus epidemic are emerging. One would flood the information space with lies, while the other would shut that space down to all voices but one. Their sponsors, not surprisingly, are Russia and China. Open governments are struggling to encourage responsibility about a growing pandemic without inspiring panic.

We also searched the flights from Moscow to Beijing and we found that a flight from Moscow will fly for Beijing tomorrow at 09:10 PM. 

We also searched the official website of Russian airline namely ‘Aeroflot’ and we found that the economy class tickets for today’s flight from Moscow to Beijing are not available.

However, when we changed the class and the date of the journey, we found that the tickets are available and can be booked.

When we proceeded to book tickets, we found more details about the seats left and the price.

Now, we began fact-checking the preventive measures and the symptoms of the epidemic mentioned in the claim and we found that these aspects have been correctly mentioned in the claim. However, a detailed report on the preventive measures and symptoms can be viewed below.

Here’s all you need to know about Coronavirus

Coronavirus, after setting its root in China’s Wuhan province, is now spreading in America, Asia, Australia and Europe. If you are reading this in India, possibilities of the existence of this virus cannot be denied completely. As per media reports, 11 people are kept under close observation.

Hence, it is evident from our fact check that Russia has not suspended all the incoming and outgoing flights to China.


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Result:  Misleading

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Saurabh Pandey
The reason why he chose to be a part of the Newschecker team lies somewhere between his passion and desire to surface the truth. The inception of social networking sites, misleading information, and tilted facts worry him. So, here he is ready to debunk any such fake story or rumor.


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