Russian fighter jets buzz US bombers in tense encounter over Black Sea



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It was the moment when two American planes were buzzed by Russian fighter jets during a tense encounter over the Black Sea.

Russia said it jammed Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets to escort two US B-1B strategic bombers and two KC-135 tankers and claimed the US planes had been “pushed back” from the country’s borders.

Footage released by the Kremlin’s Defense Ministry, apparently filmed from Russian jets, shows one of the US bombers being refueled in mid-air. America’s Cold War-era supersonic planes were originally designed to carry nuclear bombs and missiles, but now carry conventional payloads.

Russian fighter crews identified the air targets as two US Air Force B-1B supersonic strategic bombers, accompanied by two KC-135 refueling planes, and escorted them over the waters of the Black Sea “said the Ministry of Defense.

“After the foreign warplanes were diverted from the Russian state border, the Russian fighters returned unharmed to their home air base.”

It is not yet clear exactly when or where the incident occurred over the Black Sea or how far the US plane was from the Russian border.

But the footage was released days after Russia staged massive “invasion” war games exercises in the Black Sea. A combined Russian and Chinese fleet also crossed the narrow Tsugaru Strait between mainland Japan and its northern island of Hokkaido this week, putting Tokyo on high alert.

The latest meeting coincided with a visit to Ukraine by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who said Russia was an obstacle to peace in the east of the country. He called on Moscow to end destabilizing activities in the Black Sea and along Ukraine’s borders.



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A similar incident with a B-1B occurred Sunday over the Sea of ​​Japan, just days after an incident with a US Navy destroyer, also in the Far East.

B-1B bombers are being used in a series of exercises with NATO allies across Europe encompassing the Arctic, Baltic and Black Sea, Air Force Magazine reported earlier this month.

In the latest incident, the Russian Defense Ministry added that after the American planes changed their course and the planes “escorted them over the Black Sea”, the Russian pilots returned to the base. .

A similar incident occurred over the Sea of ​​Japan on Sunday, just days after a Russian confrontation with a US naval destroyer, also on Russia’s Pacific coast.

Russia claimed on Friday that one of its warships forced a US Navy destroyer to abandon what it called an attempted intrusion into its territorial waters in the Sea of ​​Japan.

A video released by the Russian Defense Ministry appears to show the moment its anti-submarine ship Admiral Tributs approached within 60 meters of the US destroyer USS Chafee in the Peter the Great Gulf, south of Vladivostok.



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But the account was disputed by the US Navy, which said the Russian statement was “false” and that the interaction was “safe and professional”.

The incident came as Russia and China were conducting joint naval exercises in the region, and is the latest in a series of close encounters between Russian and Western warships.

Relations between Russia and the United States are at their lowest since the Cold War.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the Admiral Tributes had sent a radio warning to the billion-dollar USS Chafee to tell him that he was “in an area closed to navigation due to exercises with gunfire. ‘artillery”.

The US destroyer did not change course and raised flags indicating it was preparing to launch a helicopter from its deck, meaning it was unable to change course and speed, the ministry said.



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“Acting within the framework of international rules of navigation, the Admiral Tributes have set a course to oust the intruder from Russian territorial waters,” he said.

The USS Chafee changed course when the two ships were within 65 meters of each other.

He said the episode lasted less than 50 minutes and denounced what he called a “gross violation” of US rules to avoid ship collisions.

But a spokesperson for the US Pacific Fleet contradicted the Russian account.

“The Russian Defense Ministry’s statement about the interaction between our two Navy ships is false,” he said.



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The USS Chafee was conducting routine operations in international waters when a Russian destroyer approached within 65 meters of the US warship as it was preparing for air operations.

“The interaction was safe and professional,” he said.

“Although Russia issued a Notice to Airmen and Mariners (NOTAM / NOTMAR) in this area for later today, the NOTAM / NOTMAR was not in effect at the time of the interaction.

“At all times, the USS Chafee conducted operations in accordance with international law and custom. The United States will continue to fly, navigate and operate where international law permits.

Either way, the diplomatic fallout was quick. The RIA news agency reported that the Defense Ministry summoned the US military attaché in response.

The attaché was informed of the “unprofessional actions” of the crew of the Chafee, according to the report.

It comes as Russia has put tens of thousands of army reservists in retraining as Vladimir Putin authorizes a “record” £ 10 billion increase in military and security spending.

Spending on nuclear weapons is expected to increase by 23% to enable the purchase of the most modern missiles, according to a report, with the West blamed for an arms race.



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New footage shows exercises involving 20,000 recruits from Papa’s Army in the country’s southern military district, on the border with Ukraine, where tension remains high.

“Five cohorts of reservists have already honed their military skills,” reported Zvezda TV, owned by the Russian Defense Ministry.

This follows a barrage of war games and new missile tests – including hypersonics – conducted by Russia in recent months.

This week alone, Russian forces practiced “invasion tactics” in Crimea, annexed to Ukraine in 2014.

New footage shows the country’s combat reserve in action in camps at nine army training grounds in September and October.

The Kremlin has increased the remuneration of former conscripts or former army officers enrolling in the reserve of a state which has more than one million soldiers.



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“Reservists took a combined arms training course, firing standard small arms, and studied the configuration and capabilities of artillery guns and military equipment,” the channel said.

“They also acquired the main skills necessary to ensure and organize the guard and defense of military and state installations.

Any former conscript can join the reserve from the age of 19 with a maximum age for soldiers and sailors of 50 years.

But senior male officers – holding the rank of colonel or captain first class – can be up to 70 years old.

For women, the maximum is 45 for junior ranks and 50 for officers.

It comes as Russian spending on Russian defense and security services and law enforcement is “likely to break a record” for the next three years, according to Nezavisimaya Gazeta.



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It “will increase by a total of almost a trillion rubles (£ 10 billion) and account for about a quarter of all government spending,” the newspaper said.

The chairman of the defense committee of the Russian parliament, Colonel-General Andrei Kartapolov, announced a 14% increase in spending on nuclear weapons.

This will allow “the purchase of the most modern weapon systems” and research to create “new types of weapons”.

Kartapolov – former deputy defense minister – blamed the West for the increased spending by Russia.



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The United States continues the arms race despite Russia’s proposals to stop it, he said.

Washington had withdrawn from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, one of the “cornerstones of the European security system for many years”.



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He said: “You cannot win in the arms race because it is something where there can be no winners by definition.

“And our partners should not be content with having defeated the Soviet Union once.

“Well, they did. So what? Did it facilitate peace?

“Has the world become a quieter place? Of course not.’

Kartapolov said spending on nuclear weapons would increase by 14%.

But Nezavisimaya Gazeta said the three-year figure was over 23%.

Military, security and law enforcement spending would account for about a quarter of government spending, allowing for an increase in the number of reservists,

“It is the best defense budget in modern Russia,” he said.

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