According to Reuters, two Russian air force planes landed in Venezuela with nearly 100 soldiers and a Russian defense official.
Flightradar24 airborne website reported a passenger plane from Ilyushin IL-62 and a military cargo plane from Antonov AN-124 Both left Friday from Chkalovsky Russian military airport to Caracas, according to the intelligence service.
The two nations conducted military exercises on Venezuelan soil three months ago, praising President Nicolás Maduro as an indicator of stronger links between the two countries. According to Reuters.
Vasily Tonkoshkurov, chief of staff of the ground forces, was in the first plane according to a tweet by the Venezuelan reporter Javier Mayorca, while the second was a cargo plane carrying 35 tons of unspecified material. 1
– Javier I. Mayorca (@javiermayorca) March 24, 2019
A Venezuelan official told the Associated Press Russian military visited the country to discuss training, strategy and equipment.
Last week, US and Russian officials held talks about Venezuela, but remained divided over the legitimacy of the Maduro government. Russia supports Maduro, who took office in 2013, while the United States was one of the first nations to recognize Juan Guaidó, the chairman of the National Assembly, as the interim president of Venezuela.