Jack Sweeney, a Florida youngster who follows Elon Musk’s private plane online, has added a new aircraft target to his list: Russian oligarchs and billionaires. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the 19-year-old, who turned down Musk’s $5,000 offer to deactivate his Twitter account, finally began two new automatic Twitter names. The two profiles have more than 400,000 followers altogether at the time of writing and give near-real-time information on the private planes’ activities, as well as images of maps that show where they are. Sweeney told the Wall Street Journal that individuals have been encouraging him for a long time to build Twitter accounts like this and that the demands increased when penalties targeted Russia’s wealthiest. Following President Vladimir Putin’s order to send soldiers into Ukraine, Russia’s oligarchs risk economic upheaval at home as well as retribution from the West.
According to resources, the account holders continuously monitor the helicopters, private jets, and major commercial passenger jets of Russia’s ultra-wealthy, including Vladimir Potanin, Russia’s richest man; Roman Abramovich, founder of Chelsea football club; and Alexander Abramov, a steel magnate; and, of course, President Putin. In total, the accounts monitor around 40 planes associated with the country’s richest of the rich.
So, the boy who attempted to destroy Musk receives a little more time in the limelight. While his activities raise security and privacy issues for Musk and others, what he’s on about against Russia’s ultra-wealthy appears to be justifiable — coming on the heels of the incursion of Ukraine. Despite tough international pressure, Russian tycoons appeared to be traveling about – or at least their planes are, as flight records do not show who is on board. Sweeney has also established a Twitter account dedicated to finding airplanes that Putin may use, although he noted in a tweet that it won’t be particularly precise because there are multiple VIP airplanes and there isn’t as much public flying information in Russia.
Following President Vladimir Putin’s charge of sending soldiers into Ukraine, Russia’s billionaires risk economic upheaval at home as well as retribution from the West. The US and its allies have retaliated by punishing rich individuals with ties to the Kremlin. Despite the restrictions, Russian millionaires continue to travel the world on private aircraft and boats. The penalties are intended to financially punish Russia’s aristocracy in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. According to CNBC, some of Russia’s richest business leaders have begun transferring their mega yachts to Montenegro and the Maldives, potentially to avoid seizure.