|WikiProject Russia / Economy||(Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)|
|WikiProject Aviation / Airlines||(Rated C-class)|
I am beginning a series of edits to expand and update this article, and to improve its quality. Please see the conflict of interest disclosure on my User page. Initially, I am going to update the history section, adding additional sourced information and providing sources for unsourced content where I can find it. I am also going to shift the language to a neutral point of view to conform with Wikipedia policies, and to provide appropriate balance to the article so that undue weight is not given to any particular item. If you disagree with any edits that I make to this article, please raise the issue on this Talk page. I will be happy to discuss the thinking behind my edits and reach a consensus with you and other editors of this page. Writ large (talk | COI) 11:36, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
These two sentences lack a neutral point of view:
Volga-Dnepr is known to fly arms for various governmental and non-governmental clients, as recently described in "The Arms Flyers. Commercial Aviation, Human Rights, and the Business of War and Arms". The company is also known to deliver military cargo for the US Armed Forces.
The tone communicated by the passive voice ("known to") suggests that the airlines' activities are somehow suspect. In addition, the source used -- "The Arms Flyers. Commercial Aviation, Human Rights, and the Business of War and Arms" -- has a strong political point of view, among other things referring to the US's "war of aggression against Iraq, an illegal war as defined by the UN Secretary General." (page 54) The source has only two references to Volga-Dnepr Airlines: in one chart it shows that the airline made 10 flights into the Entebbe airport during the period of the Second Congo War (August 1998 to February 2002) without disclosing whether those flights were made on behalf of the UN (for which the airline was providing peacekeeping support at the time) or others; and in another place it mentions the airline and others tangentially in connection with US and NATO operations in Afghanistan. In a third place, without mentioning the airline by name, the source states that "in the years that followed the end of the Second Congo War, several companies which were on the “Entebbe logs” were not only never brought to trial, but were instead awarded contracts by the United Nations itself and by members of the UN Security Council to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan." (page 55)
I intend to remove these sentences, and the source, and replace them with sourced specific statements of the airline's contracts to support military and humanitarian missions of the UN and legitimate governments. Writ large (talk | COI) 21:53, 23 March 2014 (UTC)
[This is a TransArms comment, strongly disagreeing with you comments] First of all, we are not responsible for what others say on the basis of our reports. In addition, Volga Dnepr is quoted in our report far more than 2 times and in different contexts. Secondly, the entry related to Volga Dnepr in the Congo War chapter is in a table that summarizes the official flight logs of the Entebbe old military airport between 1998 and 2001. The aircraft belonging to Volga made several flights in 2001 to Goma and Kisangani (they flew also to Kinshasa from other airports) in execution of a 2001 contract with the UN on the transport of military equipment and ammunition to UN peacekeepers. The information is in one of their press release of that time and we were perfectly aware of this. Our text includes all airlines flying in that period in and out the old military airport. Other companies listed in those tables were serving the UN, such as Ukraine Cargo Airways, who worked also for the Uganda ministry of Defense in the same years to transport UDF military equipment to occupied zones. Being a summary of flights, the tables have no other intent that showing what was in the official logs of the Ugandan official commission on the activities of Entebbe during the war. Thirdly, the quotation of p.55 says nothing about Volga Dnepr. The connection between Volga and the contracts we are referring to is yours, not ours. Fourthly, what does it mean "strong political point of view"? According to an official declaration by UN Secretary General, the war against Iraq was illegal. According to countless serious sources the US Administration perfectly knew that there were no arms of mass destruction there and purposely invented "evidence" to justify the illegal intervention. Everyone knows now that what the US secretary of State showed at the UN were bogus photographs they knew were bogus, as the "defector" who firstly spoke about WMD in Iraq. The war against Iraq was, therefore, a non-provoked aggression and nothing else. This is a fact, not a subjective judgement. If facts equal to "strong political point of view" what a non-strong non-political point of view is? A non-fact? Or a convenient fact? Or something that you like because it saves the "legitimate" governments that brought hundred of thousands of deaths and destruction to a country, knowing all their evidence (UK and US) were invented? What is your definition of "legitimate"?]. You point of view is not "neutral" and it is not adapting the text to Wiki politcies, it is just what you like to see and what you like to suppress.
I removed these sentences, as well:
In April 2012, Sergei Morozov, the governor of Ulyanovsk, the home town of Volga-Dnepr, stated that Volga-Dnepr will profit handsomely from NATO contracts with the Afghan draw-down. Alexander Grushko, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, has also expressed hope that NATO will use Volga-Dnepr to transport their material out of Afghanistan. The contract has been controversial in both Russia and in NATO countries, for political reasons and financial reasons, with Russians complaining of a sell out to NATO and NATO nations complaining of price gouging by Volga-Dnepr. Under the SALIS agreement, NATO is required to pay roughly $33,000 USD per flying hour, with a single mission to Afghanistan costing $250,000 USD for the An-124 charter.
The contract that was politically controversial was not Ruslan Salis' contract with NATO, but a contract between NATO and the Russian Federation to ship NATO equipment through a NATO logistics hub at Ulyanovsk. While Volga-Dnepr Airlines would logically be the cargo airline used in connection with that proposed hub, as far as I can tell Volga-Dnepr was not a direct party to the contract between NATO and the Russian Federation. With respect to the "price gouging" comment, it was not supported by the cited reference, which never used the word "gouge", but was an academic analysis of whether NATO would be better served by an organic rather than commercially leased airlift capacity. Writ large (talk | COI) 19:48, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
I intend to remove this paragraph, as well:
On June 3, 2009, two Volga-Dnepr aircraft were detained in the UAE while transporting U.S. arms and personnel. Eventually U.S. owned C-17 aircraft were required to transport the cargo and passengers to their final destination in Afghanistan. The U.S. diplomatic cable on the incident revealed that the U.S. OFAC had interest in Volga-Dnepr due to links to international arms trafficker Viktor Bout. The British Government confirmed these links in response to a Freedom of information request related to Ministry of Defence (MoD) use of airlines linked to Viktor Bout in which they included Volga Dnepr, confirming 2 chartered MoD flights on the 7th and 8 March 2005, in their response.
The purpose of an earlier editor's inclusion of the UAE detention seems to be in order to introduce the Wikileaks cable and a possible connection to Viktor Bout. In paragraph 15 (of a 16 paragraph cable), there is a statement that "Post is aware that Volga Dnepr has been a company of interest to OFAC due to suspicion of past links to international arms trafficker Victor Bout." However, in its official actions with respect to Viktor Bout and his network, OFAC never mentions Volga-Dnepr.
The UK MOD's FOI response mentions Volga-Dnepr Airlines only as the operator on two MOD flights that used aircraft leased from Trans Avia Export Cargo Airlines. While Trans Avia does appear on the OFAC list of Viktor Bout's companies, Volga-Dnepr does not. Leasing an aircraft in order to complete a mission for the UK MOD doesn't make Volga-Dnepr a part of Viktor Bout's network, or complicit in his illegal arms trafficking, which is what the current paragraph seems to suggest without outright saying. Writ large (talk | COI) 21:00, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
UN Contract Bar
On 3 February 2015, user 22.214.171.124 removed a paragraph relating to the United Nations barring Volga-Dnepr and its Irish subsidiary from receiving UN contracts from 2007 forward. In my edits -- see "Updating Article" section above -- I had left the paragraph about the UN contract bar in place. I did so for two reasons: first, it was introduced into the article by a previous editor, who I presumed was working in good faith. Second, as best I could tell from looking at the cited references, the paragraph about the UN contract bar was true and objectively worded. In removing that material, user 126.96.36.199 stated that "issues raised were unfairly characterized and malicious." I will leave it to other editors to determine whether that removal should be reverted or not. Writ large (talk | COI) 17:51, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Pax on An-124?
I'm not so sure if that's true but I think the An-124 also has a passenger cabin for a maximum of 88 pax so it still makes some sense. Zero76 06:35, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
The US Air Force operates "Comfort pallets" in it's C-5's so it is entirely possible that Antonov or someone else has developed the same for the An-124. See here:  --Degen Earthfast(talk) 13:32, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
- "Treasury Designates Viktor Bout's International Arms Trafficking Network". US Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
- "Recent OFAC Actions". US Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
- "Viktor Bout Business Empire" (PDF). US Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
The lede says that V-D operates 10 An-124s, but the "Fleet" section says that V-D operates 12 An-124s