Russia has tested a thermobaric bomb said to be the most powerful of its kind in the world.

ORT First Channel television showed a Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bomber dropping its payload over a testing ground causing widespread damage to surrounding buildings.

Colonel General Alexander Rukshin, a deputy chief of the Russian military's general staff said of the weapon: "The tests have shown that the new air-delivered ordnance is comparable to a nuclear weapon in its efficiency and capability."

Last month saw President Vladimir Putin reinstate regular patrol flights of strategic bombers, suspended since the 1991 break-up of the Soviet Union.

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