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. both b-52s and tu-95s were and are used beyond what was imagined by their creators. the bombers are older than their pilots. The USAF continues to rely on the B-52 because it remains an effective
    and economical heavy bomber, particularly in the type of missions that
    have been conducted since the end of the Cold War against nations that
    have limited air defense capabilities. The B-52 has the capacity to “loiter” for extended periods over (or even well outside) the battlefield, and deliver precision standoff and direct fire munitions. Some b-52s will be around until 2045. Tu-95s will be around until 2038.

  2. They fly over the sea in international airspace, not over the ground, and that’s the only way they can reach their bases in Kaliningrad. The other option is them flying directly over land, perhaps right over your country, you wouldn’t want that, would you? And no, I actually think it would be better if the US air force was grounded, always supporting “dummocracy” somewhere and bombing a country that doesn’t want to submit to the international kosher banks.

  3. BS. Russia is supporting the rebels with it’s military, yes. But they could not exist without a popular rebellion to begin with. Again you people don’t seem to get it, these territories have historically been Russian and most of the people their WANT to be part of Russia because they are Russians – even Ukrainian and Western sources admit this.

    I suppose I shouldn’t expect most people here to understand, given the overwhelming anti-Russian narrative in the west (I am in a ‘western’ country too btw) but parts of Ukraine became unresolved ‘grey areas’ as a result of the rapid Soviet break-up. They existed as Ukrainian, but were de facto Russian (similar thing happened in Georgia in 2008).

  4. Well when sovereignty of your country is threatened you are bound to be at least a little startled. It’s strange that you find it surprising. What do you mean “weapons you don’t really need”? It’s uncomfortable truth that Russia does not respect sovereignty of eastern European countries and it showed it recently in Ukraine. However it is in the interest of the west to keep Russia far away and the region stable. So while you and many others who are upset because of immigration would like eastern Europe to vanish, people higher up the chain realizes that these countries are highly important to the west therefore provide support (from your money to make you more money). And the comment you replied to was quite stupid but your reply definitely surpasses it…

    • there is no threat. also the baltic states are in NATO, any attack on them is treated like an attack on all of us. sovereignty is slowly relinquished to the EU. you fear russia? boooo! it is so sad, how gullible people are and how they listen to fearmongers.

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