A video that surfaced earlier this month showing the fatal crash of a Russian Air Force Tu-22M3 “Backfire” bomber on or about Jan. 22 at a remote airfield in the Murmansk region appears to indicate the extreme risks Moscow is willing to take in order to prepare for war with the United States.

The Washington Free Beacon noted that the aircraft was on a training missing carrying an inert training round mock-up of the Raduga Kh-22 (NATO Codename AS-4 “Kitchen”), a long-range weapon designed to attack enemy surface warships launched by planes from the same region of Russia, in the North Atlantic.

In particular, the design of the Kh-22 and similar air-launched cruise missiles (ALCMs) carried by Tu-22M3 Backfires are specialized to destroy American aircraft carriers.

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Analysts note that the crash this month of the Russian bomber, which carried the unit designation of “35 Red” and tail number RF-94159, occurred in horrible weather: Conditions were snowy and extremely foggy, indicating that the aircraft very likely should have been redirected to a different airfield. All but one of the four-person crew died in the crash.

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