US Blasts Russia for Deploying Bombers to Venezuela for War Games

Cheryl Sanders
December 13, 2018

"Contrast this with Russian Federation, whose approach to the man-made disaster in Venezuela is to send bomber aircraft instead of humanitarian assistance", Manning said.

Russia's Defense Ministry confirmed that two Tu-160 strategic bombers, An-124 heavy military transport aircraft and Il-62 long-haul aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces had landed at the global airport of Maiquetía earlier this week.

Russia's Defense Ministry said a pair Tu-160 bombers landed at Maiquetia airport outside Caracas on Monday following a 10,000-kilometer (6,200-mile) flight.

Capable of carrying short-range nuclear missiles, the planes can fly over 12,000 km without refueling and have landed in Venezuela twice before in the last decade.

The deployment of the aircraft drew a particularly pointed response from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a posting to Twitter.

Answering the accusation of squandering funds, Peskov said: "We don't agree with this, what's more it's probably not very appropriate for a country to make such statements when half its defence budget could feed the whole of Africa".

The Kremlin responded to what it believes are "inappropriate" and "undiplomatic" comments by Pompeo. The U.S. has accused Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro of undermining democratic institutions amid the country's growing political and economic crisis.

The arrival of the Russian warplanes followed a visit by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to Russia and his talks with President Vladimir Putin on December 5. The authoritarian government of Venezuelan leader Nicholas Maduro is now under USA sanctions, and President Donald Trump has made what appear to be off-handed comments calling for regime change in Caracas.

During the flight mission, which lasted roughly ten hours, two White Swans practiced "interaction" with Venezuela's Su-30 and F-16 fighter jets which shadowed the nuclear-capable supersonic strategic bombers for part of the exercise, in "full accordance" with global laws, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement accompanying the spectacular footage.

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