Russian troops land in Venezuela: reports

Source: The Hill | March 25, 2019 | Zack Budryk

Two Russian Air Force planes landed in Venezuela carrying nearly 100 troops and a Russian defense official, according to Reuters.

Flight-tracking website Flightradar24 indicated an Ilyushin IL-62 passenger jet and an Antonov AN-124 military cargo plane both departed from Russian military airport Chkalovsky for Caracas on Friday, according to the news service.

The two nations conducted military exercises on Venezuelan soil three months ago, which President Nicolás Maduro praised as an indicator of stronger ties between the two countries, according to Reuters.

Vasily Tonkoshkurov, chief of staff of the ground forces, was on the first plane, according to a tweet from Venezuelan reporter Javier Mayorca, while the second was a cargo plane carrying 35 metric tons of unspecified materials.

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