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WATCH: Russian Pilots Get Hero's Welcome in Venezuela After Landing Supersonic Bombers in December

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

We are republishing this article which first appeared in mid-December, 2018, because it turns out that it might well have been a harbinger of things to come. It now seems highly likely that Russian intelligence knew that a Venezuelan coup was in the works and the Kremlin wanted to send a message to the plotters that Russia, with their billions invested in the Maduro governnent, wouldn't back down that easily.  The video makes clear what a powder keg Venezuela could turn out to be if Washington follows through with regime change.

This video shows the Russians arriving in a show of support for Venezuela with joint military drills.


They get a very warm emotional welcome.

The “Tu-160” nuclear-capable bombers have the distinction of having the largest wingspan of any combat aircraft in use and being the fastest bomber in the world today.

The Venezuelan Minister of Defense praised the gesture: “It's more than cooperation, it's friendship based on trust. We established a warm relationship in the military and technical fields during Hugo Chávez's rule and continue to maintain it during Maduro's presidency.”

Watch these incredible machines in action. On Friday, they returned to Russia.

Russian TU-160 strategic bombers circled over the airspace along the borders of Venezuela and the offshore area of the Caribbean Sea. The supersonic aircraft spent more than 10 hours in the air. During this time, our crews worked out the interaction with the combat aircraft pilots of the South American country.

Mikhail Fedotov with unique details from the site.

A couple of White Swans swim over the Caracas airport. They turn over the coast of the Caribbean Sea, do a go-around, and after a few minutes the Tu-160 strategic bombers touch down on the runway. The planes taxi to the parking spots. After 10 hours of flight, the pilots finally leave the cockpit. A short report to the commander and, of course, some flight impressions.

Pavel Burdakov, deputy squadron commander: "The flight was performed over the water area of the Caribbean Sea, strictly following the rules of international flight. Then patrols were also carried out over the territory of Venezuela. During the flight, there weren't any interceptions. Fighters of the Republic of Venezuela, F-16s and Su-30s, approached us. They performed patrol escorts".

These are shots of the honorary escort shot by the Bolivarian National Air Force. The sky over Venezuela is almost cloudless. On the side, at a distance of 100 feet, two fighters approach the Tu-160. Russian and Venezuelan pilots worked out elements of interaction in the sky on the ground. "A ground flight" in professional slang.

An impressive delegation of Russian military experts came to Venezuela to maintain the bombers. A pre-flight preparation is necessary. Russian military technicians refuel the aircraft, check the avionics, and other technical systems of this bomber. Take-off is at 5 a.m. The planes leave the apron of the Simón Bolívar International Airport. Breaking the darkness with engine flames, the leading strategist, Vasily Reshetnikov, takes off. Behind him is his wingman, Nikolai Kuznetsov. These are unique shots from the cockpit.

You can see the crew's hard work on the video. The pilots do not break away from the controls, the navigators study maps. Below is the blue of the Caribbean Sea and the outline of the coast. 5,600 miles. A flight around the perimeter of the Caribbean and along the borders of Venezuela None of the countries over which the Russian bombers passed along their route raised any aircraft to intercept them. The flight went smoothly.

Sergey Kobylash, long-range aviation commander: "The crew flew over 5,600 miles. All of the tasks they had been given were accomplished successfully. There weren't any difficulties for the crews".

Tomorrow the Swans are going to have another long-range flight, over the Atlantic back to Russia.

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