Aeroflot Flight 244
OJSC AeroflotRussian Airlines , commonly known as Aeroflot , is the flag carrier and largest airline of the Russian Federation, based on passengers carried per year...

 Flight 244
was the scene of the first successful aircraft hijacking
Aircraft hijacking
Aircraft hijacking is the unlawful seizure of an aircraft by an individual or a group. In most cases, the pilot is forced to fly according to the orders of the hijackers. Occasionally, however, the hijackers have flown the aircraft themselves, such as the September 11 attacks of 2001...

 in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 on 15 October 1970 when the Lithuania
Lithuanian SSR
The Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic , also known as the Lithuanian SSR, was one of the republics that made up the former Soviet Union...

n nationalist Pranas Brazinskas and his son Algirdas seized an An-24
Antonov An-24
The Antonov An-24 is a 44-seat twin turboprop transport designed and manufactured in the Soviet Union by the Antonov Design Bureau from 1957.-Design and development:...

 domestic passenger plane en route from Batumi
Batumi is a seaside city on the Black Sea coast and capital of Adjara, an autonomous republic in southwest Georgia. Sometimes considered Georgia's second capital, with a population of 121,806 , Batumi serves as an important port and a commercial center. It is situated in a subtropical zone, rich in...

, Adjar ASSR
Adjar ASSR
The Adjar ASSR, Adzhar ASSR or Adjarian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was an autonomous republic of the Soviet Union within the Georgian SSR, established on 16 July 1921...

, Georgian SSR, to Sukhumi
Sukhumi is the capital of Abkhazia, a disputed region on the Black Sea coast. The city suffered heavily during the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict in the early 1990s.-Naming:...

 and Krasnodar
Krasnodar is a city in Southern Russia, located on the Kuban River about northeast of the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. It is the administrative center of Krasnodar Krai . Population: -Name:...

 to defect to the West
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

. In a shootout with guards on board, 19-year-old air-hostess
Flight attendant
Flight attendants or cabin crew are members of an aircrew employed by airlines primarily to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers aboard commercial flights, on select business jet aircraft, and on some military aircraft.-History:The role of a flight attendant derives from that of similar...

 Nadezhda Kurchenko was killed and several members of the crew were wounded. The hijackers commandeered the plane to Trabzon
Trabzon is a city on the Black Sea coast of north-eastern Turkey and the capital of Trabzon Province. Trabzon, located on the historical Silk Road, became a melting pot of religions, languages and culture for centuries and a trade gateway to Iran in the southeast and the Caucasus to the northeast...

, Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, and surrendered to the Turkish government. The Brazinskas were tried and imprisoned, but Turkey refused to cede them to the Soviet authorities. The plane with its passengers was soon returned to the USSR. After spending some time in prison, in 1974, the Brazinskas were granted amnesty and made their way to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 where they were naturalized in 1983. The memories of the incident resurfaced again in 2002, when Algirdas Brazinskas (now known as Albert Victor White) was convicted by the court of Santa Monica
Santa Mônica
Santa Mônica is a town and municipality in the state of Paraná in the Southern Region of Brazil.-References:...

 of murdering his 77-year-old father Pranas Brazinskas (Frank White) during a family argument. The Soviet Union condemned the United States for granting asylum to what it termed to be "dangerous terrorists" and pressed for their extradition. Up until the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Soviet Government continued to press for the extradition of the Brazinskas, and regularly assailed what it termed American hypocrisy in harboring "terrorists who attack the aircraft of socialist countries", while pursuing very different actions against terrorists who attacked American nationals, such as in the Achille Lauro
MS Achille Lauro
MS Achille Lauro was a cruise ship based in Naples, Italy. Built between 1939 and 1947 as MS Willem Ruys, a passenger liner for the Rotterdamsche Lloyd. It is most remembered for its 1985 hijacking...


See also

  • Aeroflot Flight 6833
  • List of Eastern Bloc defectors
  • MS Achille Lauro
    MS Achille Lauro
    MS Achille Lauro was a cruise ship based in Naples, Italy. Built between 1939 and 1947 as MS Willem Ruys, a passenger liner for the Rotterdamsche Lloyd. It is most remembered for its 1985 hijacking...

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