A man seized control of a Russian passenger plane flying from the city of Mineralniye Vody in the Causcasus region on Thursday. Special forces subdued the hijacker and freed the plane after a two-hour standoff.
The standoff began as the plane landed in Moscow.
The hijacker, a 30-year-old man who has not yet been identified, demanded to meet with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Russian forces said. Local media outlets said the man had demanded to meet with the media and with law enforcement agencies.
The hijacker agreed to allow doctors to come aboard to provide medical attention to several of the passengers. Special forces disguised themselves as doctors, came aboard, and arrested the hijacker. An airport spokeswoman claimed that the rescue was “the fastest aircraft-freeing operation in the history of civil aviation.”
The 105 passengers and crew aboard the plane were unharmed.
The Causcasus region, which includes North Ossetia, Chechnya, and Dagestan, has been a source of conflict between Russia and various separatist groups. In recent years Chechyan terrorists have carried out multiple attacks in major Russian cities.