Russia has grounded all its Tu-95 strategic bombers after one Bear skidded off runway and caught fire

Moscow has grounded its nuclear-capable bombers after a deadly incident in eastern Russia.

The Russian Ministry of Defense has suspended all the Tu-95 Bear bomber flights after a strategic bomber suffered an incident in Russia’s Far East.

“The Tu-95 ran over the runway during acceleration. There was no ammunition onboard. According to preliminary information, engine fire was the cause behind the accident,” Russia’s MoD said according to a report posted by Interfax news agency.

Five crew members were aboard the Bear bomber that skidded off the runway and caught fire at Ukrainka airfield: one crew member was killed and another seriously injured following the incident.

As a consequence, the Russian MoD has ground the Tu-95 fleet pending investigation: this was the second incident involving a Bear bomber in two years. In 2013, a Bear was damaged after fire started behind the cockpit while the aircraft was taxing down the runway preparing for departure.

The Tu-95 is a +60-year old Russian four-engine turboprop-powered strategic bomber and missile platform. The aircraft is often intercepted by U.S. and NATO planes during routine long-range missions across the world.

 Image credit: Aktug Ates/Wikipedia


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Excuse me??!! Don’t just blame the Russians, NATO are the ones ratcheting-up tensions all the time with their constant war-games aimed at stopping an imaginary Russian invasion. I hope Europe finally gets a brain and removes all US aircraft from the continent, which only serve to ensure US hegemony. A better place without the RuAF? Ask most people in the world and they’d rather remove the USAF from existence.

    • Imaginary?!? Dude this is the country that was just performing supersonic nuclear bombing drills on neutral countries, as well as putting submarines inside their islets and coastland. I’m talking about Sweden for what it’s worth, they have been HIGHLY provocative to entities that want no part in these geopolitical shenanigans even, NATO isn’t at fault for that. The thuglike flexing in Estonia is a good example. Russia has a long and storied history invading Europe, you act as if that has never happened before.
      And remove all US aircraft? Tough titties that isn’t going to happen ANY time soon. The Russians have been highly provocative lately, you are just blind to it.

    • Ya, European countries who have relied on American defense for 70 years are all of a sudden going to remove the Americans and defend themselves with their tiny military’s. They’d rather spend their money on social systems than defense.

      “Ask most people in the world and they’d rather remove the USAF from existence.”

      Too bad most people in the world are morons.

      • Youp well said. It’s like euroscepticists in some European countries who get huge support from European Union. Wtf, so you would rather not get billions in investitions??

    • It’s funny that invadernat speaks in support of Russia and talks about the U.S. Being an aggressive nation when his name implies exactly what Russia is going back to being:invader nation/Soviet Union. He forgets that the U.S. Projects force in order to stop rogue leaders and terrorism, protects those that cannot protect themselves, and protects its mainland as well. We as a country have in our countries clear and projected voice: “We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness.” Then throughout our constitution and bill of rights it states that these rights are to be defended for all people, specifically those within the U.S. But if we as Americans have the ability to protect what’s right, and that’s the freedom of mankind against tyranny, then we will and should do it, for if we don’t it will knock at our doorstep eventually. So while you spout off saying things about the U.S. And it’s presence around the world let me remind you of a few things: when a natural disaster happens who is the first to offer aid? When a nation loses much, which country’s citizens give financially out of their pockets in order that that country might be able to gather itself and rebuild? When world wars began to terrorize Europe and Russia from a rogue German nation, which country stepped in to help make sure that Europe and Russia did not fall, not once but twice? If it wasn’t for the U.S. Europe and Russia would be speaking German right now, and China would be speaking Japanese. And when the U.S. Goes into another country, does it claim its land? No. It gives it back to the people. And just a thought about who Russia is: Russia is the only nuclear country who has a first strike law where they can approve a nuclear strike without having a strike posed against them. America is not perfect. Our president is a let down. But we don’t admit to being perfect. We admit to being resilient and free, and we will protect that freedom wherever it is threatened.

      • Ok G.I. Joe, you clearly have a very overly-patriotic (rose-tinted) view of American history in Europe. Russia defended itself without American combat forces, and the latter only intervened because Germany were allies of America’s new enemy: Japan. You’re vaunted ‘Murica protects the innocent’ line is a half-truth.

        Whilst it’s true America certainly has sometimes (Korea, Gulf War) the majority of it’s military objectives have been directed at one of two things: 1) Installing regime change (Afghanistan, Panama, Iraq Invasion) 2) Halting power-gains of rival super powers (most Cold war conflicts). In this case America seeks to stop Russian gains by playing-up the ‘defending freedom’ line… they’ve been doing it for over 60 years now and yet people still fail to understand how the ‘game’ is played. No good will come from a strong NATO presence in Eastern Europe…except for American geopolitical self-interest.

  2. So you, as a local, do find these flights intimidating, they are a psychological menace? US resident here, I would be deeply irritated and unsettled if an unpredictable superpower felt the need to rattle their sabers, or in this case rusty kuznetsovs, over my country’s ADIZ or borders. It’s kind of a middle finger, at least that’s how I view it. Are you sick of Putin flipping you off?

    • Contrary to western government & media claims, the idea that Russia is going to invade the Baltic states in asinine. Crimea was annexed because the people there actually WANT to be Russian, and Donetsk is the result of a civil war. But hey…it’s easier for media to just say ‘Soviet 2.0’ and ‘Russian aggression’ than explain the full story.

      • Right. And the forces fighting against The Ukrainian government aren’t Russian soldiers?!lol this a Russian political and military annexation solely for the purpose of regaining a major military sea port. This is a soviet style take over from a government going back to its soviet ways. It’s not rocket science.

  3. If they are going to be re-engined as planned, the B-52 could end up outliving the venerable DC-3 in military service! Funny though, B-52’s had a spate of fiery issues in the beginning, they had turbine alternators that grenades themselves and blew up real good on some unsuspecting crews if I recall correctly.

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