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Putin Foils Daring Plot to Steal $292 Million Supersonic Nuclear Bomber

Composite photo of Vladimir Putin.
Source: UNSPLASH

Capable of carrying nuclear or anti-radar missiles, the Tu-22M3 has an operational range of nearly 7,000 km.

Jul. 8 2024, Published 1:00 p.m. ET

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Russian intelligence claims to have thwarted a mission aimed at seizing a nearly $300 million Tu-22M3 long-range bomber, a crucial part of President Vladimir Putin's nuclear strike force.

Ukrainian intelligence reportedly sought to recruit a Russian pilot, offering money as well as Italian citizenship to fly the bomber to Ukraine. The mission was allegedly supported by NATO special forces.

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putin plot supersonic nuclear bomber theft
Source: MEGA

The Tu-22M3 bombers have been extensively utilized by Russia to launch conventional missile attacks on its neighbor, Ukraine.

The FSB released footage showing stacks of cash in U.S. dollars intended as a reward for the pilot, along with a promise to open a bank account in Poland, according to The Sun report. The pilot, in a video, described the recruitment attempt as "clumsy and crude," explaining that he was contacted via the Telegram app by an individual named Pavlo, who offered the deal. The pilot reported the message to his commander.

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The FSB claims the operation was foiled and that the Russian military subsequently bombed the Ozerne military airfield in Ukraine. An intelligence unit member noted, "When Ukrainian soldiers gathered to meet the damaged area, they were hit by a missile." The timing of the incident and strike remains unclear.

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putin plot supersonic nuclear bomber theft
Source: MEGA

Ukrainian intelligence reportedly sought to recruit a Russian pilot, offering money as well as Italian citizenship to fly the bomber to Ukraine.

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The FSB also alleged that the Ukrainian agent threatened the pilot and his family, attempting to coerce him into cooperating. According to the report, the pilot recounted, "Threats turned into blackmail. He straight away started with threats against my close relatives and demanded I set my aircraft on fire."

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putin plot supersonic nuclear bomber theft
Source: MEGA

The mission was allegedly supported by NATO special forces.

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The Tu-22M3 bombers have been extensively utilized by Russia to launch conventional missile attacks on its neighbor, Ukraine. Capable of carrying nuclear or anti-radar missiles, the Tu-22M3 has an operational range of nearly 7,000 km and can reach speeds of over Mach 2, or around 1.430 MPH.

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