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Russia sends military planes to Venezuela

Two planes loaded with Russian soldiers and military equipment landed in Venezuela at the weekend, officials said.

The delivery is part of ongoing cooperation between the two nations.

What we know so far

  • Two Russian air force planes landed at Caracas airport on Saturday, flight tracking showed.
  • A Ilyushin IL-62 passenger jet and a Antonov AN-124 cargo plane flew from Moscow via Syria.
  • The planes carried 100 soldiers, Vasily Tonkoshkurov, chief of staff of the ground forces, and 35 tonnes of material, according to independent local journalist Javier Mayorca.
  • Russian state news agency Sputnik said the planes brought equipment and personnel to fulfill technical military contracts.
  • A Venezuelan official said Russian military officials were visiting to discuss equipment maintenance and training, and strategy.
  • The cargo plane left Venezuela on Sunday.

Read more: What’s at stake for Russia in Venezuela?

Key ally: Venezuela’s acting President Nicolas Maduro believes the US is attempting to overthrow the government through military means and install opposition leader Juan Guaido. Russia has emerged as a key ally of Maduro in his efforts to maintain his grip on power.

Previous deliveries: Russia already sent two Tu-160 strategic bombers to Venezuelain December to support Maduro. Three months ago the two nations held military exercises in Venezuela, which were criticized by Washington as Russian encroachment in the region.

Holding on: Acting president Maduro has refused to step down despite dozens of nations pressuring him to do so. In January, Guaido declared himself interim president, saying elections in 2018 were rigged.

aw/se (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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Article source: https://www.dw.com/en/russia-sends-military-planes-to-venezuela/a-48047119?maca=en-rss-en-all-1573-rdf