Ukraine: US split on accepting Russian victory says Basham
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The Ilyushin II-80, dubbed the “Doomsday” plane, is a Russian-built aircraft with emergency strategic equipment built which is designed protect Putin from a nuclear attack. The aircraft has highly distinctive features including a windowless fuselage and an exaggerated radar detection dome on the roof of the cockpit. This is reportedly to prevent exposure to electromagnetic pulse (EMP).
But other aspects of the craft’s technology have remained top secret.
Russian officials have confirmed the aircraft will be showcased in the parade on Red Square in Moscow, which is held to celebrate the fall of Adolf Hitler and the end of World War II.
James Nixey, director of the Russia-Eurasia Programme at Chatham House told CNN that the celebration is “designed to show off to the home crowd, to intimidate the opposition and to please the dictator of the time”.
And the ‘Doomsday’ plane was also recently spotted during the rehearsal parade.
It will be joined by eight Mig-29 fighter jets that will fly over the Red Square to form the letter Z, which is a symbol of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine.
Russia is also set to display its terrifying nuclear-capable missiles, including the Yars intercontinental nuclear missiles and Iskander short-range ballistic missile systems.
The Tupolev Tu-95 “Bear” and Tu-160 “White Swan” will also fly past the Red Square.
And Russia’s latest fifth-generation fighter jet the Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jet will be joined by the Tu-22 supersonic bomber, dubbed the “Blinder” by NATO forces.
Some analysts have suggested that the display of the “Doomsday” plane is part of a message Putin wishes to send to the West as fears of nuclear war escalates.
Russia has made repeated nuclear threats over the course of the couple of months, with Putin putting his nuclear forces on “high alert”.
A Russian MP warned Prime Minister warned Boris Johnson that the UK is now a “prime target” for Moscow given London’s unwavering military and political support for Kyiv.
He said: “Great Britain is a prime target for that (nuclear strike). It is an island nation, which would minimise the damage to the continent.”
And Alexander Sladkov, a journalist for the state-run Russia-1 TV channel, called for an atomic bombing to cause “a crater the size of several regions”
Hamish de Bretton-Gordon warned that Russia could use this special day to send its most terrifying warning yet.
He told Express.co.uk: “The biggest concern is perhaps the use or direct threat of use of a tactical/battlefield nuclear weapon.
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“If things are still going so badly on May 9, which is likely, Putin could decide that a nuke is the only way to change the shape of the war.”
But Putin is not the only world leader that can avoid a nuclear attack.
US President Joe Biden’s also has his own version of the “Doomsday” plane, which was spotted circling the skies of Southern California last week
Similar to Putin’s plane, the E-4B Nightwatch aircraft can be used in a national emergency or destruction of ground command and control centres to protect Mr Biden.
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