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Putin's bombers breach NATO airspace as they put nuclear missiles on high alert


Finland has revealed that one of Vladimir Putin’s bombers entered its airspace for the first time since the country joined NATO in 2023.

The country’s defence ministry said that the aircraft spent around two minutes 2.5km (1.5m) inside its airspace on Monday morning as tensions between NATO and Russia continue to rise.

The attack came hours after Ukraine’s military struck a substantial blow to Putin’s air force by damaging a £28m Russian fighter jet using drones, making a mockery of Russia’s air defences in the process.

According to reports, a state-of-the-art Su-57 fighter jet at an airbase deep inside Russia is believed to have been damaged. The aircraft was located at an airfield in Akhtubinsk in the Astrakhan province.

The attack was allegedly confirmed by a Russian military blogger known as ‘Flightbomber’. They wrote: “Yesterday the airfield in Akhtubinsk was attacked by 3 UAVs.

“The Su-57 was damaged by shrapnel; it is now being determined whether it can be restored or not. If not, then this will be the first combat loss of the Su-57 in history.”

As well as being home to SU-57s, the base that the drones hit is also a host base for one of Russia’s deadliest strike bombers the Tu-22M3 and the MiG 31-K jets.

Despite Ukraine’s blow against Russia’s ability to utilise one of its aerial assets, the war is still a long way from over. What’s more, the threat of a war between Russia and NATO remains a possibility as the former prepares for exercises with ally Belarus.

RIA News reported on social media network Telegram that Belarus and Russia had announced the beginning of the second phase of non-strategic nuclear training.

They said the move was announced by the Russian Ministry of Defence and that during the exercises the two countries would train units in the usage of strategic non-nuclear munitions.

The new exercises will involve personnel from across the two country’s armed forces including the army and the air force. How many troops these exercises will involve is not yet known.

With uncertainty over how many troops Russia will contribute to the exercises, there are further concerns about a new wave of desertion believed to be sweeping Putin’s forces.

Reports suggest that an information flyer has been produced by Russian officials and shared among army personnel reminding them of cases brought against soldiers from the 1195 motorised rifle regiment.

Over 110 soldiers are believed to have been taken to court over failing to return from army leave and have either been sentenced to time behind bars or are awaiting trial.

The accused are being charged under Article 337 of the Russian criminal code and could spend 10 years in prison if they are found guilty.

Ukraine’s intelligence agency claimed as recently as last month that nearly 18,000 soldiers have absconded from the Southern Military District.

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