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Russia has sent “squadrons” of nuclear-capable Tu-22M3 strategic bombers to Crimea in response to the deployment of U.S. Navy Aegis Ashore missile defense installations in Romania, according to a report in Russian state-run media.

“The deployment of American missile defense systems in Romania came as a major challenge, in response to which the Russian Defense Ministry made the decision to deploy long-range missile-carrying bombers Tupolev Tu-22M23 at the Gvardeyskoye air base,” Viktor Bondarev, the head of the Russian Federation Council’s Committee for Defense and Security, was quoted by Russia’s TASS news agency as saying Monday.

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