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Russian Tu-95 bombers fly over Alaska on routine patrol
Posted On: Nov 28, 2008
A Russian Tu-95 bomber. Photo credit : Ria Novosti
MOSCOW (BNS): Two Russian Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers have carried out a routine patrol flight over the Arctic Ocean off Alaska, an Air Force spokesman said.
The bombers, which flew over the region on Thursday, were accompanied by two US F-15 fighters for an hour over the Arctic Ocean near the shores of Alaska, Russian agency RIA Novosti quoted Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik as saying.
Dirk said the bombers took off on a regular 15-hour patrol flight from the Ukrainka airbase in Russia's Far East. "An aerial refueling was also performed during the flight and the bombers then successfully landed back at their permanent base," he added.
The spokesman said all flights by Russian aircraft are performed in strict compliance with international law on the use of airspace over neutral waters, without violating the borders of other states.
Meanwhile, the news agency said although it was common practice during the Cold War era for both the US and Soviet Union to keep nuclear strategic bombers permanently airborne, Kremlin cut long-range patrols in 1992.
However, Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic Oceans in August last year, following an order signed by the then-president Vladimir Putin. The resumption of long-range patrols was widely seen as a sign of Russia's drive to assert itself both militarily and politically, the agency said.
In mid-August, the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had said that the Bush administration was unhappy with Russian flights near the US borders and accused Moscow of playing a “dangerous game”. She made this comment after two Russian strategic bombers carried out patrols along the coast of South America during a visit to Venezuela, the agency said.
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