In less than three years after the National Security Agency found itself subject to an unprecedentedly catastrophic hacking episode, one of the agency's most powerful cyber weapons is reportedly being turned against American cities with alarming frequency by the very foreign hackers it was once intended to counter.

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A Sukhoi Su-24M of the Russian Air Force inflight over Russia in May 2009. (WIkimedia Commons/Alexander Mishin0

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. fighter jets intercepted several Russian bombers in international airspace off the coast of Alaska on Tuesday, in the fourth and fifth such incursions this year, U.S. military officials said on Wednesday.

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Russia's sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, in the English Channel in October 2016. (Dover-Marina.com via The New York Times)

The years have not been kind to Russia's sole, geriatric aircraft carrier.

Followed by billowing black smoke and massive tugboats wherever it goes, Admiral Kuznetsov has long been an object of derision in the defense commentary sphere.

The usual sense of levity accompanying Admiral Kuznetsov coverage turned to tragedy in 2018, when a 70-ton crane smashed into the carrier's hull. Almost as devastating as the considerable damage to the carrier itself was the loss of PD-50, Kuznetsov's floating drydock that sank from the blow's impact. The 2018 drydock disaster spawned a deluge of articles speculating as to Kuznetsov's fate, with many predicting its long-awaited decommission.

It appears, however, that the Russian Navy is refusing to throw in the towel.

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The "silent" 2B25 Gull 82mm mortar system (Burevestnik Institute/Jane's 360)

Cue the "silent but deadly" jokes: the Russian military has finally managed to get its hands on a new 'silenced' mortar system to help soldiers remain undetected while providing indirect fire support downrange.

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Russia's conventionally-powered Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier (Associated Press)

Russia wants to build its first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, Russian state media reported Tuesday, citing unnamed sources in the shipbuilding industry.

The carrier, a source told TASS, "will have a nuclear energy unit and displacement of about 70,000 [metric tons]," which would make it smaller than U.S. carriers but still larger than Russia's sole aircraft carrier, the steam-powered Admiral Kuznetsov, which suffered a devastating accident last fall.

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Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

BERGEN, NORWAY -- Is it a Russian spy? Is it a therapy animal? Is it just a runaway SeaWorld mammal finally free to take on the high seas?

These are the theories swirling after a happy-go-lucky Beluga was spotted on Norway's northern coastline in Tufjord over a week ago.

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