The visit was not announced in advance, and the aircraft used by the president was different from the usual IL-96. In fact, it was a kind of operation carried out by the Federal Security Service, the Ministry of Defense, the Foreign Intelligence Service, and the Federal Security Service.
The most dangerous part of the flight of the presidential side №1 was the approach. On this segment there is a high probability of the use of man-portable air defense systems by the enemy. The escort, as well as the direct cover of the Tu-214PU with Putin on board, was carried out by the Su-30CM fighter from the wing, based on the Hmeymim base.
According to the pilots themselves, they did not know until the very end that they were leading the presidential board, since the task indicated that they accompany the aircraft with a military transport aviation.