Canada seizes Russian Antonov An-124 at Toronto Airport

Elena Berd /

The Government of Canada has ordered the seizure of a Russian-registered cargo aircraft grounded at Toronto Pearson Airport, with plans to transfer it to Ukraine.

The seizure is being carried out as part of Canada’s response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine that commenced on February 24, 2022.

The targeted aircraft is an Antonov An-124 belonging to the Volga-Dnepr Group. The aircraft, registered as RA-82078, has been stuck at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) since February 27, 2022, according to data.

Volga-Dnepr Group and its cargo subsidiary Volga-Dnepr Airlines recently faced sanctions imposed by Canada, due to the company’s participation in the invasion of Ukraine.

“Today, Canada is sending a clear message to the Russian regime that there will be nowhere left to hide for those who support and profit from the Kremlin’s war of aggression,” Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs said in a press release. “Canada has been there to support Ukraine’s fight for freedom since day one and we will continue to be there through their victory to aid in their reconstruction efforts.”

The government of Canada has announced it would collaborate with the government of Ukraine in exploring various options for redistributing the seized asset. The objective is to utilize the asset for compensating victims of human rights abuses, restoring international peace and security, and contributing to the rebuilding efforts in Ukraine.

In total, Volga-Dnepr Airlines, which operates a fleet of 10 Antonov An-124 aircraft, is facing challenges with four of these planes stranded at various international airports. Aside from the aircraft seized by the Canadian government, three Ruslan planes are stuck at Leipzig/Halle Airport (LEJ) in Germany.

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