Russia plans to extend long-range bomber patrols as far as the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern Pacific Ocean, its defense minister said on Wednesday, as NATO accused the Russian government of sending more troops into Ukraine.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said his country’s military will start conducting regular long-range bomber patrols along Russia’s borders, over the Arctic Ocean, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. He rejected an assertion from NATO’s top general that it was moving combat troops and heavy weapons into Ukraine’s insurgent east.
“In the current situation, we have to maintain a military presence in the western part of the Atlantic and the eastern part of the Arctic Ocean, as well as the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico” Shoigu said.
U.S. General Philip Breedlove said Wednesday that in the last two days “we have seen columns of Russian equipment, primarily Russian tanks, Russian artillery, Russian air defense systems and Russian combat troops entering into Ukraine. Ukraine’s border is completely wide open, and forces, money, support, supplies, and weapons are flowing back and forth across this border completely at will.”
Shoigu said the tensions with the West over Ukraine would require Russia to also strengthen its forces in the Crimea, which Russia annexed in March.
Soviet strategic bombers were making regular patrols across the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean during the Cold War, but after the fall of communism the Russians were forced to cut back drastically on military expenditures. The bomber patrol flights have resumed under President Putin’s tenure as they have made a series of oil and gas deals with Beijing, supplying the Chinese government with commodities in exchange for billions in capital to invest in military infrastructure. Just this week at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, the Russians and Chinese finalized a deal that will bail out Russia’s troubled oil industry.
Earlier this year, Shoigu said that Russia plans to expand its worldwide military presence by seeking permission for navy ships to use ports in Latin America. He said the military was conducting talks with Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba. Shoigu said Russia was also talking to some of those countries about allowing long-range bombers to use their air bases for refueling.
All of these are Marxists dictatorships in our sphere of influence, hitting way to close to home. Latin American governments are increasingly falling for the ruse of socialism at an alarming rate, now add to the mix the Russians protecting them and it will be guaranteed it won’t end pretty.
Russia has not previously flown bomber patrols over the Gulf of Mexico, even during the Cold War. During the Cold War, Soviet patrols flew in the Gulf but they were surveillance and anti-submarine aircraft.