Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Putin Takes a Flight in Nuclear-Capable Bomber in a Tough Message to the West Ahead of Election
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 2 months ago on
February 22, 2024

Share

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Putin flies in a Tu-160M supersonic strategic bomber.

The flight serves as a reminder of Russia’s nuclear might.

Putin’s reelection is all but assured due to lack of opposition.


MOSCOW — Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Thursday took a co-pilot’s seat in a nuclear-capable strategic bomber on a flight that appeared aimed at bolstering his image ahead of next month’s election he’s all but certain to win.

Putin’s 30-minute flight in a Tu-160M supersonic strategic bomber also seemed intended to send a reminder of Russia’s nuclear might amid soaring tensions with the West over the fighting in Ukraine.

Putin’s Power and Control

Putin, 71, who is running as an independent candidate, relies on a tight control over Russia’s political system that he has established during 24 years in power. Friday’s death of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny sent a chilling reminder of the Kremlin’s ruthless crackdown on dissent and dealt a heavy blow to the beleaguered Russian opposition.

Putin’s Flight

On Thursday, Putin, clad in a flight suit, boarded the warplane at a snow-covered airfield of an aircraft-making plant in the Volga River city of Kazan that has built the heavy bombers since the Soviet times.

The plant has received state orders to produce a modernized version of the Tu-160 bomber that first flew in the 1980s and was code-named Blackjack by NATO.

The aircraft Putin flew was one of the first such revamped bombers built, equipped with new engines and avionics and designated Tu-160M.

Speaking to reporters after the flight, Putin praised the new aircraft as “excellent,” noting that it has big improvements compared to the initial version.

Putin’s Previous Flights

Thursday’s flight marked at least the third time he got in a cockpit of a warplane. In 2000, he took a co-pilot’s seat in a Su-27 fighter to fly to Chechnya during separatist fighting there and in 2005 he co-piloted a Tu-160 during military drills.

As part of the Kremlin efforts to project an image of an action-loving and physically strong leader, Putin also took a co-pilot’s seat in an amphibious plane, flew a paraglider and drove a racing car and heavy trucks.

He also drove a heavy truck to a meeting in Kazan on Thursday, one of a series of campaign trips ahead of the March 15-17 presidential election.

Putin’s Reelection

With prominent critics who could challenge him either jailed or living abroad and most independent media banned, Putin’s reelection is all but assured. He faces a token opposition from three other candidates nominated by Kremlin-friendly parties represented in parliament.

 

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Cruisin’ Through Kingsburg’s 29th Annual Car Show

DON'T MISS

Fuzzy Little Adeline Will Purr You to Sleep

DON'T MISS

Boeing’s Financial Woes Continue, While Families of Crash Victims Urge US to Prosecute

DON'T MISS

Police Tangle With Students in Texas and California as Wave of Campus Protest Against Gaza War Grows

DON'T MISS

Meet the Valley Republican Predicting a November Win Over Esmeralda Soria

DON'T MISS

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

DON'T MISS

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

DON'T MISS

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

DON'T MISS

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

DON'T MISS

Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Wants to Meet Netanyahu, Pledges Aid for Gaza Children

UP NEXT

Fuzzy Little Adeline Will Purr You to Sleep

UP NEXT

Boeing’s Financial Woes Continue, While Families of Crash Victims Urge US to Prosecute

UP NEXT

Police Tangle With Students in Texas and California as Wave of Campus Protest Against Gaza War Grows

UP NEXT

Meet the Valley Republican Predicting a November Win Over Esmeralda Soria

UP NEXT

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

UP NEXT

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

UP NEXT

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

UP NEXT

Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Wants to Meet Netanyahu, Pledges Aid for Gaza Children

UP NEXT

Fong Won’t Debate Boudreaux, but We Get Hot Topic Answers Anyway

UP NEXT

Legislation Pandering to Tribal Casinos Is a Bad Bet for Fresno Cardroom Employees

Police Tangle With Students in Texas and California as Wave of Campus Protest Against Gaza War Grows

15 hours ago

Meet the Valley Republican Predicting a November Win Over Esmeralda Soria

16 hours ago

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

16 hours ago

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

16 hours ago

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

18 hours ago

Upward Bound: Edison High’s Garcia Headed to Johns Hopkins

Local Education /

20 hours ago

Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Wants to Meet Netanyahu, Pledges Aid for Gaza Children

20 hours ago

Fong Won’t Debate Boudreaux, but We Get Hot Topic Answers Anyway

20 hours ago

Legislation Pandering to Tribal Casinos Is a Bad Bet for Fresno Cardroom Employees

21 hours ago

About 1 in 4 US Adults Over 50 Say They Expect to Never Retire, an AARP Study Finds

21 hours ago

Cruisin’ Through Kingsburg’s 29th Annual Car Show

Kingsburg — Hey there, hot rod fans! This past weekend, we turned the clock back and hit the streets for the 29th Annual Kingsburg Car Show ...

3 hours ago

3 hours ago

Cruisin’ Through Kingsburg’s 29th Annual Car Show

Animals /
3 hours ago

Fuzzy Little Adeline Will Purr You to Sleep

15 hours ago

Boeing’s Financial Woes Continue, While Families of Crash Victims Urge US to Prosecute

15 hours ago

Police Tangle With Students in Texas and California as Wave of Campus Protest Against Gaza War Grows

CA District 27 Assembly candidate Joanna Garcia Rose
16 hours ago

Meet the Valley Republican Predicting a November Win Over Esmeralda Soria

16 hours ago

Wired Wednesday: Construction Workers on 2018 Fresno Unified Project Still Not Paid

16 hours ago

Slumping California Risks Losing World’s ‘5th Largest Economy’ Title

18 hours ago

Ukraine Uses Long-Range Missiles Secretly Provided by US to Hit Russian-Held Areas, Officials Say

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend