Jack Sweeney, the American teen famous for developing an app tracking Elon Musk’s private jet, is now targeting Russian oligarchs. The enterprising young man recently launched @RUOligarchJets and @Putinjet.
These handles report the whereabouts of jets used by President Vladimir Putin and his cadre of Russian oligarchs and billionaires.
From Elon Musk to Russian Oligarchs
The 19-year old Sweeney became famous for creating @ElonJet, which tracks the location of Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s private plane. @ElonJet provides flight information not just on Musk, but on many public figures as well.
Sweeney uses publicly-available flight details that pilots file before takeoff or during flights. Sweeney's Twitter account tracking Musk is still live.
Earlier, he refused Musk’s offer of $5,000 to delete the account. He said that he'd only delete @ElonJet in exchange for a new Tesla Model 3.
Now, Sweeney’s new accounts @RUOligarchJets and @Putinjet are tracking the locations of aircraft used by the Russian President and his billionaire cronies.
As of today, @PutinJets has 75,800 followers, while @RUOligarchJets amassed 319,000 followers. Those who follow the accounts can view live updates of the jets’ movements.
They can also read updated flight information and see pictures of maps locating them.
Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Triggered the Creation of @RUOligarchJets and @Putinjet
Sweeney created the two accounts following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week. As the conflict escalated, many Western leaders began imposing sanctions on Russia to force the country into withdrawing from Ukraine.
Specifically, the sanctions involved freezing the accounts of Putin and his circle of Russian oligarchs. Sweeney’s creations can help track the whereabouts of the individuals and see what they’re up to.
Meanwhile, Sweeney said that many people asked him to start Twitter accounts similar to what he did for Elon Musk. The requests ramped up when the Russia-Ukraine conflict started.
When economic sanctions targeting Russian oligarchs started, many became interested in tracking these wealthy individuals.
Because of the invasion, Putin launched, these Russian billionaires are now facing huge losses in their personal wealth at home.
They also face financial exile from Western institutions. This early, the US and other countries are seizing local assets owned by Russian oligarchs such as yachts, buildings, and even businesses.
Tracking Russian Oligarchs
The @RUOligarchJets Twitter account is currently tracking jets owned by billionaire friends of Putin. Allegedly, these oligarchs amassed wealth and power due to their closeness with Russia’s president of over 20 years.
Some of the jets currently tracked include Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich. He is currently pushing for a sale of the famous football club.
He also plans to give the proceeds to Ukrainian victims of the conflict. Other jets include those owned by Leonid Mikhelson, chairman of Russian gas producer Novatek, as well as a businessman. Alisher Usmanov.
All in all, the account tracks more than 40 planes and helicopters linked to Russia’s elite. Sweeney asked others to help provide information that could add more aircraft for tracking.
In addition, Sweeney said that the size of the jets that Russian oligarchs use was stunning. “The aircrafts these oligarchs have been absolutely crazy. Their planes are huge compared to other jets.”
In justifying the accounts, Sweeney said that all information he posts uses public information. He uses ADS-B data, which is public, to provide information on each aircraft’s location.
ADS-B, or Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, is a technology used to determine an aircraft’s position via satellite navigation.
ADS-B periodically broadcasts that location. In addition, Sweeney said that Twitter policy allows the sharing of data found on other sites.
Watch NewsNation’s Dan Abrams Live reporting on the college student tracking Russian oligarchs' jets:
Do you support Jack Sweeney’s Twitter accounts tracking the locations of aircraft used by Putin and Russian oligarchs? Will this help in efforts to freeze the assets of these individuals in light of the Ukraine invasion?
Tell us what you think. Share your comments below.
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