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Teen who tracked Elon Musk's private jet now following Putin, Russian oligarchs
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Teen who tracked Elon Musk's private jet now following Putin, Russian oligarchs

The teenager who famously launched a Twitter account that tracks tech billionaire Elon Musk's private jet is now monitoring the travel activity of Russian President Vladimir Putin and several Russian oligarchs.

What are the details?

Jack Sweeney, a 19-year-old freshman student at the University of Central Florida, runs the accounts by programming bots to monitor flight tracking data and tweet every time a certain plane departs one airport or lands at another.

Now under Sweeney's gaze on an account called "Russian Oligarch Jets" are 39 planes and helicopters belonging to 19 oligarchs — including Chelsea F.C. owner Roman Abramovich, steel magnate Alexander Abramov, Vladimir Potanin, and Norilsk Nickel, among others.

Another account, called "Russian VIP & Putin Jets," seeks to monitor the travel of other high-profile members of Russia's elite class and perhaps even the notorious Russian president himself.

Though Sweeney was careful to note that data coming from this account might not be "too accurate" given the sheer number of private jets and issues relating to aircraft coverage in Russia. Likewise, Putin is not necessarily known to be a jet-setter.

What else?

The accounts only started days ago but have already garnered massive followings due to the worldwide attention being given to Russian leaders amid the country's unprovoked invasion of neighboring country, Ukraine.

“It’s just been crazy,” Sweeney told NBC News. "I just figured some people would be interested in it. I just didn't think all kinds of people would be."

He added that "people have been asking me about Putin for a while. They wanted to know if they could track him."

As of Tuesday afternoon, the account tracking Russian oligarchs had attracted more than 180,000 followers. The account tracking Putin, which was launched later, had attracted more than 30,000 followers.

The college freshman added that he knew almost nothing about the Russian power structure heading into the weekend.

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

Others, however, are well aware of the influence such men have and are eager to penalize them in any way they can for Russia's unprovoked assault on Ukraine, a move that has destabilized global politics.

Anything else?

The oligarchs were apparently on the move this week, as jets and helicopters owned by Abramovich moved from Moscow to distant locations such as Basseterre in Sint Kitts and Baku, Azerbaijan. aircraft owned by Abramov touched down in London, England, and Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Interestingly, one of Abramov's private jets landed in Los Angeles, California, Tuesday afternoon.

Starting Sunday, Russian aircraft were no longer permitted to fly in airspace owned by the European Union, Reuters reported. While the U.S. is reportedly considering similar action, no decision has been made.

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