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Russia Launches Massive Air Force Exercise

Mos News | September 27 2006

The Russian military on Tuesday launched a massive exercise that will involve dozens of long-range bombers test-firing cruise missiles, the Associated Press news agency reported quoting the nation’s air force chief.

The maneuvers will involve over 50 Tu-160, Tu-95 and Tu-22M aircraft flying missions over the Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and the Black and Caspian Seas, Gen. Vladimir Mikhailov said, according to the Interfax and ITAR-Tass news agencies. He said it will be the largest exercise involving Russian long-range bombers in years, the agencies reported.

A flow of petrodollars has allowed the Russian government to steadily increase military budget in recent years, a sharp contrast with dire funding shortages after the 1991 Soviet collapse. Russian military exercises have grown in scope and become more regular.

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