On Tuesday we noted that Russia has, for the first time, used strategic, long-range bombers, in Syria.
These are the kind of aircraft that can deliver not only cruise missiles but tactical nuclear weapons. The Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu confirmed as much when he said that Tupolev Tu-160 and Tu-95MS strategic bombers are now being used in the strikes against ISIL targets.
Tupolev Tu-95 Bear
As you're probably aware, Russia had previously limited the strikes to Su-34s, Su-25s and Su-24Ms. But apparently, once Moscow got confirmation that the Russian passenger jet which went down over the Sinai Peninsula earlier this month was indeed destroyed by a bomb, The Kremlin decided to show ISIS what "bombs" really look like.
According to Shoigu, the involvement of the bombers will allow Russia to double the number of airstrikes it can conduct in Syria and on Wednesday, we get the first footage from the Russian Defense Ministry depicting the planes in action (and as we've all seen, the Russians love to show their equipment in action). Enjoy: