Russia Reported to be Stationing Supersonic Bombers in Crimea

lt;pgt;Russia#039;s air force is stationing a squadron of long-range, supersonic bombers to Crimea with the option of eventually sending an entire regiment to the peninsula in response to Eastern European NATO allies#039; reinforcement plans, according to Russian independent news agency lt;a href=quot;; rel=quot;nofollowquot;gt;Interfaxlt;/agt;.lt;/pgt; lt;pgt;Poland and Romania have agreed to host U.S.-missiles on their territory as part of a missile shield designed to protect NATO allies from potential attacks. Last month a representative of Russia#039;s Security Council, the state defence advisory body, issued an implicit threat to the two countries saying they had turned lt;a href=quot;; rel=quot;nofollowquot;gt;themselves into quot;targetsquot;lt;/agt; for Russia#039;s;/pgt; lt;pgt;Russia has previously threatened to redeploy more lt;a href=quot;; rel=quot;nofollowquot;gt;servicemen, tanks and artillerylt;/agt; to its western borders, if the U.S. decides to store more military vehicles in Poland and the Baltic;/pgt; lt;pgt;Today a Russian Ministry of Defence source was quoted as saying that a squadron of Tu-22M3 supersonic, strategic bombers will be redeployed to the annexed Crimean peninsula in the near futurelt;/pgt; lt;pgt;quot;Its combat capabilities will allow a considerable increase in the air defence reinforcement around the Black Sea and the surrounding region,quot; the defence ministry source told lt;a href=quot;; rel=quot;nofollowquot;gt;Interfaxlt;/agt;. quot;This is one of the measures taken in response to the deployment of an American missile base on the territory of Romania,quot; the source;/pgt; lt;pgt;According to the source, the Tu-22M3 deployment to Crimea could eventually be increased to a whole regiment. An air force squadron normally consists of between 10 and 24 military aircraft, however it can include more, according to the lt;a href=quot;; rel=quot;nofollowquot;gt;Russian naval dictionarylt;/agt;. A regiment consists of several;/pgt; lt;pgt;The Tu-22M3 bombers, also known as Backfire bombers, are not currently deployed in Crimea, however they got a chance to experience the terrain in March when some of them were lt;a href=quot;; rel=quot;nofollowquot;gt;deployed to the peninsulalt;/agt; during large-scale snap;/pgt; lt;pgt;The Russian air force has boasted that the Backfire aircraft#039;s reach well beyond the Black Sea#039;s limits, meaning both it and its missiles can pose a threat to coastline states. There are currently 40 of them in regular use in the Russian air force, according to online news site lt;a href=quot;; rel=quot;nofollowquot;gt;Lenta.rult;/agt;. Such bombers were once stationed in Crimea during the late 1980s, before the fall of the Soviet;/pgt; lt;pgt;Speaking to Newsweek, a NATO official criticized the plans and other Russian initiatives to increase military presence in;/pgt; lt;pgt;quot;As NATO foreign ministers said in May, more than one year has passed since Russia#039;s illegal and illegitimate, self-declared #039;annexation#039; of Crimea, which we do not, and will not, recognize, and which we call on Russia to reverse,quot; the NATO official;/pgt; lt;pgt;quot;We condemn Russia#039;s ongoing and wide-ranging military build-up in Crimea, and are concerned by Russia#039;s efforts and stated plans for further military build-up in the Black Sea region, which will potentially have further implications for the stability of the region.quot;lt;/pgt;