Russian strategic bombers patrol over Sea of Japan - defence ministry

Dec 14 (Reuters) - Russia's defence ministry said on Wednesday that two Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers carried out a seven-hour patrol flight over the Sea of Japan.

The bombers - capable of carrying nuclear bombs and nuclear-armed cruise missiles - were accompanied by Russian SU-class fighter jets, the ministry said.

Even while bogged down thousands of miles away in its war in Ukraine, Russia has continued to conduct regular strategic bomber flights as a show of strength to its neighbours in the Far East. Last month it carried out joint patrols with China over the Sea of Japan and East China Sea.

The defence ministry said the latest mission complied with international airspace rules and was part of regular flights over what it called the neutral waters of the Arctic, North Atlantic, Black and Baltic Seas, and the Pacific Ocean.

Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Mark Trevelyan and Raju Gopalakrishnan

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