Putin to begin helicopter commute

AFP-JIJI

President Vladimir Putin is to switch from car to helicopter for short hops from the Kremlin, his spokesman said Thursday, delighting drivers weary of his motorcade causing huge jams but raising concerns about damage to the historic buildings.

Until now Putin has commuted daily to the Kremlin from his country residence, zooming along empty roads with sirens wailing as traffic police force all the drivers to clear the way.

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, announced Thursday that “they have built the helipad in the Kremlin and there have even been some fly-overs,” cited by the Interfax news agency

Peskov declined to specify when Putin will go airborne, saying only that “it will all depend now on the occasion.”