The tragedy was caught on video, apparently recorded by one of the airfield servicemen at an air base near the city of Olenegorsk. The video which leaked online, shows heavy fog covering the area during the January 22 incident, just seconds before the crash. The incident occurred on January 22nd, 2019 while the bomber was returning to Olenya Air Base in Russia’s frigid Murmansk Oblast around 1:30 pm local time, with reports of poor weather, possibly contributing to the incident that apparently killed three crewmen.
Three of the four-pilots died on the scene, while the commander of the aircraft miraculously survived. He was urgently driven to the hospital with serious injuries. An official investigation has been opened to determine the cause of the crash. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the bomber was on a routine training mission and initially they sad that the aircraft carried no weapons during the incident. However, later reports indicate the aircraft was armed with at least one Kh-22 long-range anti-ship missile and several hundred aircraft cannon ammo.
The Tupolev-22M3 is the modern and upgraded version of the supersonic long-range strategic and maritime strike bomber that first entered service in the 1970s. The latest, the M3M, unveiled last August, boasts upgraded avionics, new digital radio-navigation equipment, and a new communications system – and is set to become another carrier of the cutting-edge hypersonic Kinzhal missiles. The aircraft involved in this fatal accident was entered into service 33 years ago, but underwent a major overhaul in 2012 and was reportedly due for further modernization. Down below you can see the video of the accident.
Back in November, a SU-27 made two close passes near Navy EP-3 Aries Reconnaissance Aircraft
A Russian SU-27 fighter came dangerously close to a Navy EP-3 Aries reconnaissance aircraft over the Black Sea, defense officials said. The incident occurred back in November 2018.
The U.S. Navy aircraft was in international airspace and had its transponder on as the SU-27 made two close passes, said Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon shortly after the incident.
“We classified it as unsafe,” Pahon told reporters. “They didn’t establish radio contact. They came really, really close to our aircraft. I don’t have an estimate of distance – but really, really close to our aircraft – and then they engaged the afterburners and the entire aircraft shook.
“There’s just absolutely no reason for this type of behavior,” he continued. “This type of behavior is unacceptable. We call attention to it when it does occur. It puts our aircraft and air crews in danger.
November’s incident was the second such close encounter since January, 2018 when another Russian SU-27 came within five feet of a Navy EP-3 and then crossed through the Navy aircraft’s flight path, causing the EP-3 to fly through the Russian fighter’s jet wash.
The Russian defense ministry denied that one of its fighters flew too close to a Navy EP-3. The footage can be seen below.
Russian deployment in Venezuela includes special forces
A Russian military contingent that arrived in Venezuela over the weekend, drawing US condemnation, is believed by the US government to be made up of special forces including “cybersecurity personnel”, a US official said.The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States was still assessing the Russian deployment, which Washington has called a “reckless escalation” of the situation in Venezuela.
Two Russian air force planes landed outside Caracas on Saturday carrying nearly 100 Russian troops, according to local media reports, two months after the administration of US President Donald Trump disavowed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.Venezuela’s government has confirmed two planes landed from Russia at the weekend and were authorised by Maduro but has given no more details.
Flight tracking websites said the planes, an Ilyushin IL-62 passenger jet and an Antonov AN-124 military cargo plane, had taken off from Russian military airports.One of them had flown from Moscow via Syria, where Russia supports President Bashar al-Assad.
The Trump administration has recognised opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s legitimate president and demands that Maduro step down. Russia has described this as a US-backed coup against the socialist government.The US determination that the Russian contingent includes cybersecurity specialists suggests that part of their mission could be helping Maduro’s loyalists with surveillance as well as protection of the government’s cyber infrastructure.Russia’s main objective in providing the military help, including cyber experts, would likely be to help shield Maduro from “regime change” and ensure a foothold for Moscow in Latin America, according to a source familiar with US government assessments of Venezuela.
Russia also has major energy investments in OPEC member Venezuela. In December, Russia sent two nuclear-capable long range bombers to Venezuela for several days to participate in what it said were joint exercises. Russia’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday that the presence of “Russian specialists” in Venezuela was governed by a military-technical cooperation agreement between the two countries.It did not provide further details.
However, Sputnik, a Russian state news outlet, cited unnamed embassy officials in Caracas to report that troops and 35 tonnes of cargo under the command of General Vasily Tonkoshkurov arrived to “exchange consultations”.