BBC, August 17th:
“We have decided to restore flights by Russian strategic aviation on a permanent basis,” Mr Putin told reporters [today] at joint military exercises with China.
“In 1992, Russia unilaterally ended flights by its strategic aircraft to distant military patrol areas. Unfortunately, our example was not followed by everyone…Flights by other countries’ strategic aircraft continue and this creates certain problems for ensuring the security of the Russian Federation,” he said.
AFP, August 17th:
The announcement came days after Moscow said its strategic bombers had begun exercises over the North Pole and just a week after Russian planes flew within a few hundred kilometres of a US military base on the island of Guam.
On Wednesday a top US commander said that Russian bombers had been making increasingly frequent flights approaching US territory for several months.
Reuters, August 17th:
In July, two Russian Tu-95 “Bear” bombers made unusually long sorties over the North Sea, leading Norway and Britain to scramble fighter jets to follow them. Russia’s air force said later it was a routine flight.