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Russian Tu-22M3 bombers patrol Black Sea waters amid NATO’s Sea Breeze drills

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the flight lasted about five hours

MOSCOW, July 7. /TASS/. Russian Tu-22M3 long-range bombers escorted by Su-30M2 fighters performed a scheduled flight over the neutral waters of the Black Sea, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Wednesday.

"Two Tu-22M3 long-range bombers performed a scheduled flight in the airspace over the neutral waters of the Black Sea," the ministry said in a statement.

In their flight, the Russian bombers were escorted by Su-30M2 fighters of the Southern Military District’s Air Force and Air Defense Army, the statement says.

"The flight lasted about five hours," Russia’s Defense Ministry specified.

The Russian long-range bombers performed their patrol flight as NATO’s Sea Breeze maneuvers are progressing in the Black Sea. The drills involve Ukraine, the United States, Canada, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Latvia, and other countries. About 4,000 personnel, 40 combat ships, vessels and auxiliary craft, 30 aircraft and over 100 motor and armored vehicles are involved in the Sea Breeze 2021 maneuvers.

Tu-22M3 long-range bombers are designated to strike ground and sea targets with supersonic missiles and bombs. They have an operating range of 7,000 km and are capable of carrying nuclear weapons.