A pair of Russian-made Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bombers made it rain hellfire on their home country on April 18, but it wasn't to battle Ukrainian sympathizers or Chechen rebels. No, the military jets were fighting Russia's oldest and most powerful frenemy: winter.
The jets were dispatched to blow up a 25-mile-long ice jam on the Sukhona River in Russia's Vologda region, according to International Business Times. With thousands of people in the area at risk due to flooding, the Russian Air Force instructed the planes to drop guided bombs on the blockage every hour until the river resumed its natural flow. A pair of icebreaker ships were also deployed to help clear the frozen water.
This year's spring floods have been especially harsh across the motherland, forcing evacuations across the central and northern parts of the country. The Kurgan, Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Tyumen, and Kemerovo regions have all been affected according to the Russian Emergencies Ministry.
In case your Russian geography is a little rusty and you're thinking this happened in some remote part of Siberia—hardly. The Vologda region boasts more than one million residents and is located roughly 250 miles from Moscow and about 340 miles from St. Petersburg. What you're seeing here is basically the equivalent of the United States using F-15E Strike Eagles to blow up an ice dam in eastern Ohio.
(Note: If you're in a rush, jump ahead to around 1:10 in the first video for the best view of the bombing run.)