Russia Flies Bombers Over International Waters On NATO’s Doorstep
Russia has flown two supersonic strategic heavy bombers over the international waters of the Barents Sea in a display of military might on NATO’s doorstep.
Zenger News obtained the footage from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation on July 19.
The Russian MoD titled the video: “Two Tu-160 strategic missile carriers carry out scheduled flight over international waters of Barents Sea”.
The MoD said: “MiG-31 crews from Air Force and Air Defense Formation of the Northern Fleet have escorted the missile carriers for protection.
“The flight had been lasting over 7 hours.
“All flights of the airplanes of Russian Aerospace Forces are conducted in strict compliance with airspace regulations.”
We contacted the Russian MoD for further comment, as well as the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, but haven’t received a reply at the time of writing.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin is calling a “special military operation”. July 20 marks the 147th day of the invasion.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and July 20, Russia had lost about 38,750 personnel, 1,700 tanks, 3,905 armored combat vehicles, 856 artillery units, 250 multiple launch rocket systems, 113 air defense systems, 221 warplanes, 188 helicopters, 703 drones, 167 cruise missiles, 15 warships, 2,775 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 70 units of special equipment.
Turkey has said that a resumption of Ukraine’s grain exports via the Black Sea is “probable” following a meeting with Ukraine, Russia and the United Nations to discuss “small problems”.
EU foreign ministers have agreed to a 500-million euro ($510 million) funding package to supply weapons to Ukraine, bringing the total since February to 2.5 billion euros ($2.55 billion). EU foreign ministers are also reportedly discussing a ban on the import of Russian gold.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has held talks with Iranian leaders and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Tehran.
Amid the visit, the National Iranian Oil Company and Russian energy giant Gazprom signed a memorandum of understanding worth around $40 billion.
While President Putin was in Tehran, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dismissed both the head and deputy director of his country’s spy agency.
He also fired Ukraine’s prosecutor general and several regional security heads following the emergence of more than 650 cases of alleged collusion or treason.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska has been in Washington, where she has held talks with senior figures including U.S. first lady Jill Biden.
She will address lawmakers on Capitol Hill on July 20 in an apparent bid to secure Kyiv more military aid from the USA.
And Russian independent television channel TV Rain, which was taken off the air by the Russian authorities in early March, has resumed broadcasting from Latvia.
The Kremlin blocked the channel shortly after the invasion of Ukraine began because it had described it as a “war” rather than a “special military operation”.
Internal dissent has continued with Russian tennis star Daria Kasatkina calling for an end to the “war” in a recent interview with Russian blogger Vitya Kravchenko.
The 25-year-old Russian number one and world number 12, who lives in Dubai, described the invasion as a “full-blown nightmare”.
She also took aim at Moscow’s stance on homosexuality, asking: “If there is a choice, nobody would choose being gay, why make your life harder, especially in Russia?”
While being gay is not illegal in Russia, homophobia is commonplace and the spreading of “gay propaganda” among minors is prohibited.