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Putin deploys nuclear bombers to airbase near borders to neighbouring countries

Putin deploys nuclear bombers to airbase near borders to neighbouring countries

Vladimir Putin has deployed a number of nuclear bombers to a base closer to Russia's borders with NATO.

Satellite footage of a Russian airbase close to the border with NATO nation Norway appears to show a buildup of nuclear bombers.

In recent weeks Vladimir Putin has ramped up the rhetoric on the potential to use nuclear weapons as his invasion of Ukraine continues to go poorly.

These efforts involve calling up 300,000 reserve troops to fight in Ukraine, though some have asked Ukraine how they can surrender and there are claims that the Russian police are rounding up homeless people for the war.

While Putin has escalated the conflict he started by partially mobilising Russia for war, he has also threatened to drop nuclear bombs if Russia's 'territorial integrity' is threatened.

That 'territorial integrity' likely includes the four regions of Ukraine illegally annexed after a series of sham referendums, though Ukrainian forces are already moving through some territories Russia now claims as theirs.

Ukraine is handing out anti-radiation pills in response to Putin's threats amid growing fears of a nuclear bomb being deployed.

Putin has claimed he's 'not bluffing' over the threat of dropping nuclear weapons, and he has threatened to turn his nukes against countries other than Ukraine too.

Satellite footage appears to show a buildup of nuclear bombers at a Russian airbase near the NATO border.
Planet Labs PBC

Now it looks like Putin has been steadily redeploying some of Russia's nuclear bombers to an airbase very close to NATO nation Norway and soon-to-be member of the alliance Finland.

Norwegian fact-checking site Faktisk reports that aerial photography of the Olenja airbase showed seven Tu-160s and four Tu-95 planes parked there, whereas there were none until late August.

The airbase is about 115 miles away from Norway, while being about 95 miles from the Finnish border, no distance at all for the supersonic Tu-160 bombers.

Tu-160s can carry up to 12 short range nuclear missiles while the Tu-95 can drop much larger nuclear bombs.

Their location at the airbase near the borders with Norway and Finland is abnormal, as they are usually deployed at Engels airbase around 450 miles south east of Moscow.

Putin has used Tu-95s to fly as far as Britain before, with the Royal Air Force earlier this year intercepting a pair of the bombers that entered a part of international airspace the UK is responsible for policing.

The Tu-160 and Tu-95 strategic bombers are both weapons from the Cold War era capable of dropping nuclear weapons.
UPI / Alamy Stock Photo

While Norway is already a NATO country, Finland is currently in the process of attempting to join the alliance along with neighbouring Sweden.

It would vastly increase the length of the border Russia has with NATO, and two days after Finland announced it was set to join the alliance Putin responded by shutting off their supply of natural gas.

While Putin talks up the possibility that he could deploy nuclear weapons, Russia has also recently restarted the conventional missile strikes on major Ukrainian cities.

Russia recently struck a number of Ukrainian cities including the capital of Kyiv for the first time in weeks, seemingly a retaliation for the explosion which destroyed the only bridge to Crimea.

Putin called the destruction of the Crimean bridge, the only solid supply line between his troops in the peninsula and the rest of his invasion force, an 'act of terror'.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information 

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: Russia, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, World News