Citing the official source, RIA news agency claims Russian radars identified the hostile aircraft approaching Russian airspace border over the Eastern part of the country. Three advanced Sukhoi-35S fighter aircraft were immediately scrambled from Russia’s eastern military district to intercept the incoming threat.
Russian pilots identified the aircraft as a US Air Force B-52H strategic bomber.
The fighter jets escorted the plane away from Russian airspace, seeing the bomber perform a U-turn and leave the area.
The Russian jets returned to their base once the threat had been subverted.
No breach of Russian airspace was allowed, and all interaction between the aircraft fell into the norms for international air protocol and safety.
Russia and the USA are historically wary of each other following tense standoffs seen during the Cold War.
Moscow has become increasingly aware of NATO expansion to the East, and taken measures to respond to a build up of NATO forces on its border in Eastern Europe.
Senior Russian officials have warned regional states of potential military consequences for hosting US missile defence systems, and have not ruled out a pre-emptive strike on such batteries.
Ties between the West and Russia have been further strained following the announcement of the AUKUS deal which will see a greater presence in the Indo-Pacific region.
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Both China and Russia have expressed their strong condemnation of the pact, with both nations replying in kind with shows of military strength in recent days.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said of the deal:
“We do not want to burn bridges. But if someone sees our good intentions as indifference’s or weakness… they should remember this: Russia’s response will be asymmetrical, it will be quick and it will be tough”.
He went on to add: “Everyone who is coming up with provocations that are a threat to our interests will regret that, the way that they haven’t regretted something for a while.”
Further West, Russian fired warning shots at a British navy ship as it sailed out of the Black Sea off the coast of Crimea.
Tension is also still high following a series of cyber-attacks across the United States, with Washington pointing the finger of blame firmly in the direction of the Kremlin as the responsible party.
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Moscow has vehemently denied any involvement in cyberattacks, and have denied they played a part in influencing elections or any other notion of internal business of foreign states.
However, just week, a third Russian national was charged with the plot to kill Russian dissident Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.
A man using the name Sergey Fedotov, believed to be a Commander in Russia’s elite military intelligence unit of the GRU has been added to Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Borhirov.
Following the attack, the two named suspects appeared on Russian state TV claiming that had visited Salisbury as tourists.
With tension continuing to mount in the region, it is likely that more interceptions and close call aerial manoeuvres will continue, as both Russia and China seek to assert their authority in a fast-evolving region.
Hostile aircraft approaching an enemies border is nothing new, and is a trait that has been active since the Cold War.
Such was the problem; the USA and Russia signed the ‘Treaty on Open Skies’, which established a pact allowing aerial surveillance over the entire territory of its participants.
However, when Donald Trump pulled out of the treaty, this was quickly echoed by Russia when Joe Biden claimed he would not rejoin upon taking office.
With tension growing over NATO expansion, and the signing of the AUKUS deal, a flexing of muscles by various regional actors can now be expected as the once warming war, starts to turn cold again.