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Two Russian air force planes landed at Venezuela’s main airport on Saturday carrying a Russian defense official and nearly 100 troops, according to media reports, amid strengthening ties between Caracas and Moscow.
A flight-tracking website showed that two planes left from a Russian military airport bound for Caracas on Friday, and another flight-tracking site showed that one plane left Caracas on Sunday.
The article goes on to state the following:
That comes three months after the two nations held military exercises on Venezuelan soil that President Nicolas Maduro called a sign of strengthening relations, but which Washington criticized as Russian encroachment in the region.
Reporter Javier Mayorca wrote on Twitter on Saturday that the first plane carried Vasily Tonkoshkurov, chief of staff of the ground forces, adding the second was a cargo plane carrying 35 tons of material.
An Ilyushin IL-62 passenger jet and an Antonov AN-124 military cargo plane left for Caracas on Friday from Russian military airport Chkalovsky, stopping along the way in Syria, according to flight-tracking website Flightradar24.
The cargo plane left Caracas on Sunday afternoon, according to Adsbexchange, another flight-tracking site.
The flights carried officials who arrived to ‘exchange consultations,’ wrote Russian government-owned news agency Sputnik, which quoted an unnamed source at the Russian embassy.
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Russian air force planes land in Venezuela carrying troops: reports https://t.co/gKRfJn6irP
— Trish Regan (@trish_regan) March 25, 2019
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) March 24, 2019
Caracas and Moscow ties strengthen as air force planes land in Venezuela carrying Russian official and 100 troops https://t.co/mXqQol22Ms
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) March 25, 2019
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