Russia Relaunches Cold War Patrols

Pointed message to US from Putin
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Aug 18, 2007 8:06 AM CDT
A Russian Tu-160 strategic bomber flies above an airfield near the northern city of Murmansk, Russia, in this Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2005 file photo. Russia's President Vladimir Putin said Friday he ordered...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – In a resumption of some of the tension reminiscent of the Cold War and a message to the US, Russian President Vladimir Putin has relaunched long-range Russian bomber patrols after a 15-year hiatus. Fourteen bombers took off yesterday just days after Russian jets buzzed the skies off Guam and began exercises over the North Pole.

Russia ended such flights in 1992, though "unfortunately, our example was not followed by everyone," Putin said, apparently referring to the US. That "creates problems for security." If Russia "wants to take these old aircraft out of mothballs, that's their decision," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.