Russian military convoy lands in Venezuela
- 1 month ago
Two Russian Tu-160 bombers, a heavy-lift An-124 Ruslan cargo plane and an Il-62 passenger plane landed in Maiquetia airport, on the outskirts of Caracas, Venezuela, shadowed by Norwegian F-18 jets during the 10,000 km flight.
The Tu-160 bomber is nicknamed “blackjack” by NATO and is a huge warplane capable of carrying conventional and nuclear tipped missiles with a range of up to 5,500 km.
They are the very same planes that Russia used during its Syrian campaign and has plans to upgrade the aircraft with new weapons and electronics.
The landing of the convoy comes after Nicola Maduro’s recent visit to Moscow to seek economical support as the country is into an economic chaos and has been hit by numerous sanctions by both the U.S. and Europe.
As one of its closest political allies however, Maduro has reached out to Putin in seeking much needed financial aid regardless of the billions owed to the Kremlin.
This however is not the first time Russia has sent warplanes to the South American oil-rich country, Russia has previously sent the same Tu-160 and a missile cruiser to Venezuela in 2008 after the war in Georgia raised tensions between Washington and Moscow and again in 2013.
Russia sent its Tu-160 strategic bombers and a missile cruiser to visit Venezuela in 2008 amid tensions with the U.S. after Russia's brief war with Georgia. A pair of Tu-160s also visited Venezuela in 2013.
Nonetheless, tensions are at a low point now due to the recent dispute over the Crimean region and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that President Putin intended in following his support to Venezuela, including sending military warcraft as part of a bilateral cooperation.
The Pentagon claimed to have no idea of the aircraft landings however pointed to the USNS Comfort deployment to Venezuela, the U.S. Navy hospital ship has been assisting Venezuelans in need of medical and dental treatment.
Source: Smart Trend Team