(NewsNation Now) – Planes from around the world are flying in a wide circle around the airspace above the Ukraine-Russia border, leaving a large empty circle in the middle of Eastern Europe .
A live map from FlightAware, a flight tracking and data platform, shows no aircraft over Ukraine and few flights over neighboring Poland, Belarus, Slovakia, Moldova and western part of Russia. This map does not track military flights.
Ukraine officially closed its airspace to civilian flights on Thursday morning, although some airlines had already started canceling flights to the Eastern European country earlier amid rising tensions.
In the minds of many people, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which was shot from the skies over war-torn Ukraine in 2014 by a Russian-made missile. Both Russia and Russian separatists in Ukraine have denied the act, which killed 298 people.
the The European Union Aviation Safety Agency, or EASA, warns“The presence and possible use of a wide range of ground and airborne warfare systems poses a HIGH risk to civilian flights operating at all altitudes and flight levels.”
Meanwhile, Cold War-era travel lines are drawn. Russia on Friday banned all British airlines from landing at their airports, in retaliation for a similar ban imposed by Britain.
The FAA has banned US airlines and pilots from operating throughout Ukraine, Belarus and parts of western Russia. And Anchorage Airport in Alaska has received inquiries about its capacity, “harking back to the Cold War era when it was a popular refueling hub for planes barred from the air.” ‘Soviet airspace’. Reuters reported.
In Ukraine, the Russian army announced on Friday that it had seized a strategic international airport outside Kiev, allowing it to quickly build up forces to take the capital. The country also claimed to have already cut off the city from the west – the direction taken by many who escaped the invasion, leading to lines of cars winding their way towards the Polish border.