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Russia scrambles nuclear bombers to Crimea in anniversary show of might



Russian Air Force Tupolev Tu-22M3. PHOTO: Alex Beltyukov (<a href="" target="_blank"></a>)

Russia will deploy Tupolev nuclear-capable bomber jets to Crimea in a snap drill, a defence ministry source said Tuesday, as the peninsula marks a year since its annexation by Moscow.

“As part of a snap check of combat readiness of the armed forces, Tupolev 22-M3 strategic missile-carriers will be deployed to Crimea,” the source told Russian news agencies, without giving a specific date.

The source said the deployment of the long-range bombers was part of a snap check ordered by President Vladimir Putin on Monday of the combat readiness of more than 40,000 troops nationwide in a major show of strength amid tensions with the West over Ukraine.

Russia said last year it wanted the bombers to be based back in the strategically important Black Sea peninsula, which hosts a major naval base, by 2016. Under the USSR, the bombers were based in Crimea, supporting the navy, but Russia withdrew its planes after Ukraine gained independence.

The European Union warned Monday of the growing militarisation of Crimea as it condemned Moscow’s “illegal annexation” of the region from Ukraine.

In a documentary aired Sunday Putin said he was ready to put the country’s nuclear forces on alert as he sought to takeover Crimea last year.

The region this week is celebrating the first anniversary since Moscow absorbed it in a move condemned by the West as an illegal takeover but widely backed by Russians.

On Tuesday, the naval city of Sevastopol held events including a flower-laying ceremony at a World War II memorial, with officials releasing doves and holding a minute of silence. Among those attending were bikers from the pro-Putin activist group Night Wolves.

Crimea is holding three days of celebrations culminating Wednesday, which will be a public holiday on the peninsula with patriotic concerts and fireworks.

Pro-Russian authorities said residents voted overwhelmingly to leave Ukraine and join Russia in a hastily-organised referendum on March 16, 2014.

Thousands of unmarked Russian troops had already taken control of the peninsula, although Putin initially denied this. Two days later, Putin signed a deal on Crimea joining Russia

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  • braer rab

    Putin, deranged little tyrant that he is, obviously looks back on the days of the Cold War with great fondness. One day the Russian people will wake up and ask why their economy has collapsed but Putin has managed to stash away a personal fortune of over $47 billion, (deposited safely in London and Switzerland). Russia is a gangster state run by gangsters for the personal benefit of a small group of deeply nasty, selfish people. The sooner they are kicked into prison the better.

    • Sal Yarima

      Braer rab……..please go to CNN website………this is not an Oyimbo site where you repeat the lies of CNN and FOX news…………nobody is interested in your “version” of the “truth” …………….Oyimbo man must always have his way including every Africa-man must believe the lies of the Bature because Bature does not tell lies………….Lol

  • gaswork

    Crimea referendum offered voters the choice of seeking annexation with Russia or remaining in Ukraine with greater autonomy. After 50 per cent of the ballots were counted, Mikhail Malishev, head of the referendum committee, said more than 95 per cent of voters had approved joining Russia
    question “should the UK give the Falkland’s back after over 95% want to remain English”

    • Joseph Gibson

      give the Falklands back? It didn’t belong to anyone then and it’s over 300 miles from the coast. If you check back, and yes, check back… Argentina only started banging on about decades ago when discoveries were made. Luckily for Argentina, at the time Great Britain, didn’t decide to invade it.

      • Chijioke Oweregbulam

        Crimea originally belong to Russia, it was only given to Ukraine by Russia few decades ago. Crimea was given to Ukraine by Russia without any consideration because then both of them were in USSR (i.e. Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). It is also Russian speaking and populated by ethnic Russians. Besides, one of the assurances given for ending the cold war was that NATO will not expand eastwards. But, the west in it’s usual characteristics did not keep it’s own side of the bargain. The insincerity on the side of the west should be blamed for the war in Ukraine.

      • gaswork

        Crimea was part of Russia from 1783, when the Tsarist Empire annexed it a decade after defeating Ottoman forces in the Battle of Kozludzha, until 1954, when the Soviet government transferred Crimea from the Russian Soviet Federation of Socialist Republics (RSFSR) to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (UkrSSR). The transfer was announced in the Soviet press in late February 1954, eight days after the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet adopted a resolution authorizing the move on 19 February

        One of the ironies of the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 is that when the chairman of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet, Kliment Voroshilov, offered his closing remarks at the session on 19 February 1954, he declared that “enemies of Russia” had “repeatedly tried to take the Crimean peninsula from Russia and use it to steal and ravage Russian lands

    • Sal Yarima

      That is American wonder…………….I say if 5% agree to 95% without the other 100% who do not agree, then the 5% and 75% without the 25% is normally correct………………… Answer When the United Nations said no body should bomb Syria………..some countries found a way around it……….if you have nuclear weapons you can pretty much do what you want………. No one can touch Russia only make a lot of noise………the Russians have over 8500 nuclear weapons more powerful than the Fat-Man and Thin-Man the USA used on Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki…………. So no one can mess with North Korea, China, Russia…………soon Iran would build a rocket capable of carrying its nuclear weapons……… that time the rest of the world would do what Iran wants……….Funny way to run the world….