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Russian President Vladimir Putin shows no signs of slowing down his invasion of Ukraine after one of the world's most deadly bombers was delivered to his forces.
The Tu-22M3 was made by the Tupolev Aircraft Company, and given to the Russian Aerospace Forces to use in Ukraine.
It had originally been thought that the plane would not be made, but the country's procurement plan was changed during the war and it has now been delivered, TASS news agency reports.
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A spokesman said: “The Tupolev Aircraft Company has delivered the latest Tu-22M3 missile-carrying bomber to long-range aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces for operation after repairs under the defense procurement plan.
The Tu-22M3 delivered was an older model which was repaired and upgraded for battle – and 500 of them are going to be modified in total.
According to reports, the Tu-22M3 has a top speed of Mach 2.05, and can carry several hypersonic missiles.
It now also has a new navigation system, as well as bomb delivery units for greater accuracy.
News of the upgraded bombers comes as it emerged Putin was trying to grind down the wallets of hard-up Brits in the cost of living crisis as the war in Ukraine continues at a huge cost, a military expert said.
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General Sir Richard Barrons, the former Commander of the British Joint Forces Command, explained how one of the key strategies being carried out by Putin is centred around frustrations in the West about paying for military aid for Ukraine.
Speaking exclusively to the Daily Star, Sir Richard said that one of the key “strategic elements of the Russian campaign is to try to deplete the will of the West, to keep sending money and people.”
He explained that Russia is looking to exploit the issues going on in countries backing Ukraine, like the UK, USA, Italy and Germany.
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The expert said: “Russia knows very well that the cost of living crisis is biting, that people are getting cold… and are trying to turn heating they can’t afford on.
“It can see a change of mood in Germany and in Italy, and in the US, where there are elements [of the society there] that are saying ‘when we’re feeling the pinch why are we spending money on this pointless never-ending war?’
Were the West to turn the tap off to Ukraine, Ukraine would have to – at the very best – stick and hold where it is.
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