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Strategic bombers’ flights aimed at demonstrating Russian defense capabilities — top brass

April 09, 2015, 21:54 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov, the flights of Russian bombers are a common practice and Russia never violated international agreements
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Tupolev Tu-160 (left) and Tu-95 (right)

Tupolev Tu-160 (left) and Tu-95 (right)

©  ITAR-TASS/Marina Lystseva

MOSCOW, April 9. /TASS/. Regular international flight of Russian strategic bombers are not in violation of any international regulations and are conducted to demonstrate the capabilities of the Russian Armed Forces, a high-ranking military official said on Thursday.

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said that the flights of Russian bombers are "a common practice and we [Russia] never violated international agreements."

"In fact, we are demonstrating the capabilities the Russian Armed Forces have," Antonov said in an interview with Russia’s Rossiya-24 television channel.

"We are again conducting regular training flights in order to be ready to cope with certain tasks we are facing," the high-ranking military official added.

In February, strategic bombers Tu-95MS [NATO reporting name: Bear] conducted flights over the Barents and Norwegian Seas, as well as over the north-eastern part of the Atlantic.

In particular, they drilled re-fuelling operations in the air. It was reported earlier that Russian bombers were accompanied by British Typhoon fighter jets in February’s flights.

Last month Russia held a surprise combat readiness check of the country’s Armed Forces, which also involved Air Force strategic bombers. Russia’s strategic command and staff exercises and a surprise check of troops’ combat readiness kicked off on March 16 and ended on March 21.

The surprise check started with Russia’s Northern Fleet, units and formations of its Western Military District and the Airborne Force and subsequently extended to troops in other Russian regions. It involved 80,000 troops, 10,000 pieces of military hardware, 65 combat ships, 15 submarines and over 200 aircraft and helicopters.

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