Russia initiates Observation Flight over the U.S amidst rising tensions

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MOSCOW – Russian inspectors have received orders from Shoigu’s command chain, and will conduct an observation flight over US territory under the Open Skies Treaty, the official newspaper of the Russian Armed Forces, Krasnaya Zvezda, reported.

“A group of Russian inspectors plans to hold an observation flight on a Russian Tu-154MLK-1 plane over the US territory under the Open Skies Treaty,” the statement said.

It is noted that the flight, which is following an agreed route, will take place from May 12 to 20 and will have a maximum distance of 4,800 kilometers.

US specialists will also be on board the aircraft to monitor the use of surveillance equipment and compliance with Treaty clauses by their Russian colleagues.

According to the newspaper The Drive, last month a Russian flight route included the flight over a large number of important US facilities:

* The Fort Riley of the US Army, where the 1st Infantry Division is deployed.
* The McConnell base of the US Air Force in Kansas, where the 22 Replenishment Wing is located, one of the largest in the country.
* The Vance air base.
* The Fort Sill in Oklahoma, where the 31st Artillery Defense Brigade equipped with anti-aircraft missile systems Patriot and THAAD is located.
* The Sheppard air base in Texas.
* The Dyess air base also in Texas, where the B-1B Bones strategic bombers and the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft are deployed.
* The Fort Bliss in New Mexico where the US anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense command is located and one of the largest artillery training camps.
* The White Sands training ground.
* The Kirtland air base in New Mexico that houses two wings special operations and the nuclear weapons center of the US Air Force.
* The Los Alamos National Laboratory that supports the investigation of nuclear weapons.
* The chemical deposit of Pueblo in Colorado that stores the chemical weapons of the USA waiting to be eliminated.

On April 22, Krasnaya Zvezda, reported that a group of Russian military inspectors would carry out an observation flight on a Tu-214ON over the US territory between April 22 and 27 within the Open Skies Treaty.

Signed in 1992 in Helsinki, this agreement authorizes military observers to obtain images of movements of troops and ships in a vast territory from the Canadian city of Vancouver to the port of Vladivostok, in the Russian Far East.

The document currently has 34 signatories, including Russia, which ratified it in May 2001.

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