Russian nuclear-capable bombers conducted a third day of military runs along Europe’s coasts on Friday as part of heightened strategic activities by Moscow, the NATO alliance said.
“On Friday, Russian planes carried out more flights over Europe,” said NATO spokesman Maj. Rob Phillips. “NATO tracked these flights over the Baltics, the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.”
Putin’s Russia has revived its once flagging global arms sales business and is using those sales to revive its defense industrial base. Second to only the United States with about a 26 percent share of the global arms market—the United States has a 30 percent share—Russian arms sales in 2013 generated some 13 billion dollars for government coffers according to the pro-government Russia Today.
Pro-Western parties prevailed in Ukraine’s parliamentary elections over the weekend, but the country’s armed forces continued to suffer casualties amid fighting with Russian-backed separatists in the east.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arsenic Yatseniuk has warned that Russia and its proxy forces in eastern Ukraine could seek to destabilize the country’s parliamentary elections on Sunday with attacks, Reuters reports.
Large-scale NATO war games underway in Europe this week include the deployment of B-52 nuclear-capable bombers, as non-NATO member Sweden hunts for a Russian mini-submarine in its territorial waters.
Estonia summoned Russia’s ambassador Wednesday over an airspace violation by Russian military aircraft.
An Army rapid deployment force will practice securing the Pentagon’s strategic missile defenses base in Alaska this week as part of annual exercises involving both conventional and nuclear forces.
A significant majority of Russians believe Western sanctions will actually benefit their country’s economy, according to a new poll.
MILAN (Reuters) – Russia, Ukraine and European governments failed to make any progress towards solving the crisis in Ukraine on Friday in talks that the Kremlin said were “full of misunderstandings and disagreements.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s effort to eliminate one of the country’s oldest human rights organizations is the latest indication that the authoritarian leader has revived many Soviet-era practices to crush civil society and tighten his grip on power, including persecuting dissidents and disseminating anti-Western propaganda.