Great—along with the United States’ ongoing (and escalating) international debacle in Iraq and Afghanistan, the current administration has clearly worked its particular brand of diplomatic charm on Russia. On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that his country’s air force is once again sending nuclear-equipped bombers on regular overseas patrols.
The New York Times:
Russian television showed images of sleek bombers soaring into the air, refueling and landing, though it was unclear whether the images depicted the sorties that took off Friday. Russia has 79 strategic aircraft, capable of carrying 900 cruise missiles, Russian television reported, far fewer than at the height of the cold war.
Still, the resumption of bomber flights was the latest in a series of assertive gestures by Russia, emboldened by windfall petroleum wealth and angered over what it has called American and NATO aggressiveness, including plans for a missile-defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland, analysts said.