New Zealand photographer Amos Chapple posted an aerial image of the Kremlin, Moscow’s closely guarded seat of power and official residence of Russian President Vladimir Putin, to Reddit on Friday. The photo was later removed from the news-sharing site, but as of this writing, remains posted to Chapple’s Facebook page, where it was first shared on Nov. 5.
“It was a commissioned shot (from a Russian company), but they made it clear I was on my own if I got caught,” Chapple wrote on Reddit. “Permissions for this kind of thing would be impossible now.”
“[The publisher] considered applying for permission, but told me it would probably be impossible so I went ahead without,” he told Australia’s News.com.au.
Russia requires users of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to obtain prior permission from the country’s Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) to fly drones, or risk being slapped with stiff monetary fines, according to one report. So far, no investigation into Chapple’s photo has been launched by authorities.
“I wasn’t counting on being caught,” he wrote on Reddit. “This involved a lot of planning, and succeeded with a bit of luck.”