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Carriers of Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, MiG-31K fighters and Tu-22M3 bombers, have arrived at Russia's Hmeimim air base in Syria as part of a naval exercise, the Russian Defense Ministry told reporters on Tuesday. The planes were transferred amid the presence of NATO aircraft carrier groups in the Mediterranean Sea, RIA Novosti reported.

The aircraft dispatched to Russia's Hmeimim air base will take part in exercises in the eastern Mediterranean, part of a surge of Russian military activity amid a standoff with the West over Ukraine and security in Europe.

The Russian Air Force crews flew from their deployment points, covering more than 1,500 kilometres. In the course of the exercise, pilots of long-range aviation will have to perform tasks as intended.

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