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Russia makes a further move to flex its military might

Vladimir Putin has always seemed to dream of the good old days when Russia / Soviet Union was a powerful nation, held in fear for its military might and power. However, the days of perestroika and glasnost revealed that the Soviet Union was actually a nation held together by power and fear, and the collapse into individual countries soon followed. The reign of Boris Yeltsin that followed was a time when Russian power had weakened massively, and it was too poor economically to maintain its military or do any of the movement of large bombers, submarines, aircraft carriers, etc that were the show-piece of a major military power. Now Putin is more of a person who wants to wield the power that was there once, and hence, with his economy recovering, and the nation getting a lot more revenue from its oil and gas reserves, Putin is showing the power once again:

President Vladimir Putin said Friday that he had ordered the military to resume regular long-range flights of strategic bombers, a show of Russia’s resurgent military power which comes amid a chill in relations with the United States. Speaking after Russian and Chinese forces completed major war games exercises for the first time on Russian turf, Putin said a halt in long-range bombers’ flights after the Soviet collapse had affected Russia’s security as other nations had continued such missions — an oblique reference to the United States.
Soviet bombers routinely flew such missions to areas from which nuclear-tipped cruise missiles could be launched at the United States, but stopped in the post-Soviet economic meltdown. “Starting in 1992, the Russian Federation unilaterally suspended strategic aviation flights to remote areas,” Putin said. “Regrettably, other nations haven’t followed our example. That has created certain problems for Russia’s security.”
The announcement comes amid a growing chill in the U.S.-Russian relations, strained over Washington’s criticism of Russia’s democracy record, Moscow’s strong criticism of U.S. missile defense plans and differences over global crises. “This is a significant change of posture of Russian strategic forces,” Alexander Pikayev, a senior military analyst with the Moscow-based Institute for World Economy and International Relations, told The Associated Press. “It’s a response to the relocation of NATO forces closer to Russia’s western border.”

This is not a solitary step. The Russians have been much more provocative in their military flights, moving closer to the boundaries of other countries, and doing regular flights over areas under Russian influence. In addition, Russia has been much aggressive in its reactions to steps of the US such as the proposed deployment of anti-missile systems near the Russians, the expansion of NATO to the borders of Russia, and so on. At a time when the US military force has been projected to be much weaker, the Russians will try to take full advantage and project their force much more.

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