‘Mothballed’ Russian Bombers Resume Long-Range Patrols

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I wrote last week of a flight of Russian long-range bombers to the Pacific island of Guam. Well, the news today is that Putin has decided to make it a regular thing. From the BBC:

“We have decided to restore flights by Russian strategic aviation on a permanent basis,” Mr Putin told reporters at joint military exercises with China and four Central Asian states in Russia’s Ural mountains.

“In 1992, Russia unilaterally ended flights by its strategic aircraft to distant military patrol areas. Unfortunately, our example was not followed by everyone,” Mr Putin said, in an apparent reference to the US.

“Flights by other countries’ strategic aircraft continue and this creates certain problems for ensuring the security of the Russian Federation,” he said.

In Washington, a state department spokesman, Sean McCormack, said Russia’s decision was “interesting”.

“If Russia feels as though they want to take some of these old aircraft out of mothballs and get them flying again, that’s their decision,” he told reporters.

One of the reasons Russia halted its flights 15 years ago was that it could no longer afford the fuel.

Today Moscow’s coffers are stuffed full of oil money, says the BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Moscow, and the Kremlin is determined to show it is still a military power to reckon with.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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