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Putin’s Flight on Nuclear-Capable Bomber Sends Signal to the West - 99 Views

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Putin’s Flight on Nuclear-Capable Bomber Sends Signal to the West

Russian President Vladimir Putin took a symbolic flight on a modernized Tu-160M nuclear-capable strategic bomber on Thursday, a move likely to be interpreted in the West as a deliberate reminder of Moscow’s significant nuclear capabilities.

The Tu-160M, known as “Blackjacks” by NATO, is an upgraded version of a Cold War-era bomber that the former Soviet Union would have deployed for delivering long-distance nuclear weapons in the event of war.

State TV footage depicted Putin descending a ladder from the plane after the flight, emphasizing the aircraft’s reliability and modernization. Putin stated, “It’s a new machine, a lot about it is new. It’s easier to control. It’s reliable.”

The timing of Putin’s flight is notable amid heightened tensions between Moscow and the West due to Russia’s military actions in Ukraine and the recent death of opposition figure Alexei Navalny in prison.

The Tu-160M, also nicknamed “White Swans,” is a symbol of Russia’s military might. The flight, lasting 30 minutes, took place at a factory in Kazan responsible for manufacturing the modernized supersonic aircraft. The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, emphasized that the flight path was a military secret.

The gesture adds to the strained relations between Russia and the United States, raising concerns reminiscent of historical moments like the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. As Putin seeks another term, the flight serves as a strategic display of military prowess, reflecting the complex geopolitical landscape currently unfolding.

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