Russian strategic bombers fly to Venezuela

MOSCOW (AP) — Two Russian strategic bombers have flown to Venezuela as part of a military exercise.

Russia's Defense Ministry said in a statement Monday that the two Tu-160 supersonic long-range bombers took off from Engels air base near the Volga River city of Saratov in the country's southwest. The bombers, which are capable of carrying nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, landed at Maiquetia airport near Caracas.

The ministry says the bombers flew more than 10,000 kilometers in 13 hours and were escorted at one point by Norwegian fighter jets. The bombers also flew to Venezuela — which, like Russia, has had difficult relations with the U.S. — in 2008 for training.

That year, Russian warships also visited Venezuela for naval exercises in the Caribbean, part of an effort to demonstrate Russia's resurgent military power.

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