Russia has just activated a fleet of long-range Tu-22M3 bombers for combat missions, according to reports.
Col. Oleksandr Motuzianyk, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, said Russia has deployed its warplanes against the ravaged Ukrainian city of Mariupol, according to CNN.
The news that strategic aircraft are now being sent on bombing missions to Ukraine represents a significant escalation in the conflict since Russia first invaded on February 24.
“On April 14, two Russian strategic heavy bombers Tu-95/-160 have launched cruise missiles hitting the territory of Ukraine from Krasnodar Krai of Russian Federation airspace,” Motuzianyk said.
“Also, for the first time from the start of the armed aggression, bombs were dropped by a long-range bomber Tu-22M3.
“This airstrike took place, hitting Mariupol.”
When the Russian invasion first began two months ago, it was believed that Putin did not want to inflict serious damage on Ukraine because he didn’t want to destroy cities that Russia wants to annex.
Now, more aggressive measures are being taken because Ukraine still has not surrendered, as many believed would happen early on in the dispute.
An ongoing foreign war — involving a nuclear power — erupting on the doorsteps of America’s NATO allies threatens global stability and draws us closer to World World III.
As a reminder, Vladimir Putin warned in 2018 that Russian missiles can reach anywhere in the world — including the United States — within minutes.
The Russian leader ramped up the saber-rattling last week by sending a note to the United States demanding it stops arming Ukraine.
In the diplomatic démarche viewed by The Washington Post, Russia warned of “unpredictable consequences” if the U.S. and NATO continue to ship weapons systems to Ukraine.
The veiled threat was a reaction to Biden‘s move to send an additional $800 million in aid to Ukraine, including shipments of long-range howitzers, anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons, coastal defense drones, armored vehicles, and millions of rounds of ammunition.
“We call on the United States and its allies to stop the irresponsible militarization of Ukraine, which implies unpredictable consequences for regional and international security,” Russia said in the note, according to the Post.