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Vladimir Putin takes to the skies - or does he?

Did Putin Fly a Russian Tu-160M Blackjack Bomber?

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COMMENTARY by Susan Katz Keating

The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin flew in the cockpit of a Tu-160M bomber. And, Moscow adds, it has proof!

A video that we captured from Russian state media seems to show Putin airborne and in the left seat of the plane’s cockpit.

Is this really Putin, and is the aircraft actually in flight? The camera is focused on the pilot in the right seat, with Putin taking an uncharacteristic background seat. Maybe it’s him, maybe it’s not.

The plane took off from the Gorbunov Kazan Aviation Plant, the Kremlin said. The flight lasted about 30 minutes. 

Upon landing, Putin assessed the updated bomber/missile carrier, praising its high reliability and armed capability, along with improved aircraft control.

“The technology is excellent,” Putin said. “It really belongs to a new generation. Of course, it can be accepted by the Armed Forces.”

Putin noted that the aircraft has increased levels of crew comfort. As if he is experienced in such matters.

If nothing else, the Kremlin’s video aims to show its man in good health – just in time for national elections.

Susan Katz Keating is the publisher and editor in chief of Soldier of Fortune.

About Susan Katz Keating

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