Twitter account tracks locations of Russian oligarchs' private jets

‘They should be exposed’: Student, 19, who tracked Elon Musk’s private jet on Twitter creates account revealing the locations of aircraft owned by Russian oligarchs including Roman Abramovich

  • Jack Sweeney, 19, who earlier this month set up a Twitter account to track Tesla CEO’s Elon Musk’s private jet is now focusing his efforts on Russian oligarchs 
  • Sweeney is tracking the aircraft of some of Russia’s richest people
  • Account currently tracking 39 planes and helicopters belonging to 19 oligarchs
  • It includes aircraft owned by Russia’s richest resident, Vladimir Potanin, Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea FC and Alexander Abramov, a steel billionaire
  • The new Twitter account has already has garnered 64,000 followers 

A 19-year-old who created a Twitter account that tracked the location of Elon Musk’s private jet, has now turned his attention to the planes owned by Russian oligarchs. 

A college freshman student at the University of Central Florida, Jack Sweeney has set up a new account called @RUOligarchJets which is said to track the movements of various aircrafts known to be owned by Russian billionaires, using bots to detect air traffic data.   

Sweeney says that he stated the account after he received several requests to track the aircrafts of Russia’s oligarchs. 

He used a list of planes that was already being tracked by a blog called Radar Spots and set up a new Twitter account which already has garnered 64,000 followers. 

College freshman Jack Sweeney, 19, who earlier this month set up a Twitter account to track Tesla CEO’s Elon Musk’s private jet is now focusing his efforts on Russian oligarchs

The account is currently tracking 39 planes and helicopters belonging to 19 oligarchs

Sweeney’s account is currently tracking 39 planes and helicopters belonging to 19 oligarchs. 

‘People have been asking me about Putin for a while, they wanted to know if they could track him,’ said Sweeney to NBC. ‘It’s just been crazy. I just figured some people would be interested in it. I just didn’t think all kinds of people would be.’

Some of Russia’s richest citizens travel of the same types of aircraft normally used by commercial airlines including Airbus’ and Boeings. 

Their enormous weather allows the billionaires to travel around the globe on their private jets despite sanctions having been enacted the seek to cripple them financially. 

It includes aircraft owned by Russia’s richest resident, Vladimir Potanin, Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea FC

Sweeney, who is studying information technology, created the tracker using a program that analyzes public information from several sources to identify planes. Above, a jet belonging to Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea FC, is tracked

The twitter account tracks everything from private jets and helicopters to , commercial-sized aircraft.

Prior to the start of the war last week, Sweeney said he knew very little about Russian billionaire’s or their planes.  

‘Before this, I didn’t even know there were these influential oligarchs like this. They probably do have a decent amount of power from what I can understand.

‘The aircrafts these oligarchs have are absolutely crazy,’ Sweeney explained to Bloomberg. ‘Their planes are huge compared to other jets.’ 

They include aircraft owned by Russia’s richest resident, Vladimir Potanin, Roman Abramovich the owner of Chelsea football club and Alexander Abramov a steel billionaire.

One of Abramovich’s jets landed in Latvia on Sunday, while one of his helicopters took a trip in the Caribbean. As for, Abramov, one of his planes recently landed in Abu Dhabi while another landed in Munich.

Sweeney has also set up a second account that also tracks planes registered to President Putin and other Russian VIPs’.

He warns, however, that the information might not be particularly accurate because there is limited flight data available in Russia.

Although the account is able to track aircraft movements, it is unable to provide any crucial context and it remains unclear who might be traveling on the flights or their reasons for traveling.   

Nevertheless, one Russian expert said authorities should use the information obtained by Sweeney’s account to seize assets. 

Sweeney also set up a separate account that tracks the whereabouts of President Putin’s plane

Vladimir Putin’s flagship aircraft is the Russian-made IL-96-300PU, pictured above It is a wide-bodied, long-haul airliner

Sweeney warns that the information might not be particularly accurate because there is limited flight data available in Russia

‘They should be exposed and they should be paying whatever price a country can extract from them,’ Howard Stoffer to NBC, who teaches international affairs at the University of New Haven in Connecticut.

‘Get these airplan) tail numbers out. Tell the governments these are the people, this is where they’re located and let them take whatever action they feel is appropriate.’

Sweeney first came to public attention after Elon Musk asked him to shut down his Twitter account that tracked the whereabouts of his private jet.  

Musk had previously asked for Sweeney to take the account down earlier in the fall in exchange for $5,000 calling it a ‘security risk’, but he ultimately refused and asked for an internship instead. 

Sweeney countered Musk’s offer, asking for $50,000 instead, but Musk declined. 

Sweeney set up a Twitter account in June 2020 to track Elon Musk’s private jet 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk previously asked Sweeney to take the account down in exchange for $5k

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