Russian air force personnel secure a Tu-160 strategic long-range bomber upon landing on Dec. 10, 2018, at Maiquetia airport outside Caracas, Venezuela.
In the past five years, Russia has engaged in two major military actions abroad, one in Ukraine and the other in Syria. In both cases, Russia began with a limited and unofficial force structure, only to ramp it up into a larger, more official and more sustained military presence. Similarities between Russian interests and actions in these theaters and Venezuela suggest Moscow is poised to ramp up its small initial military deployment in the troubled South American country -- though strategic and tactical considerations will limit the extent of Russian actions in Venezuela. But any Russian military intervention could lead to increased U.S. sanctions against both Russia and Venezuela, and to even greater U.S. efforts to support the Venezuelan opposition....
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