BRUSSELS — NATO warplanes intercepted a “significant” force of six Russian nuclear-capable bombers over the Baltic Sea, the alliance said in the latest such encounter amid tensions with Moscow over Ukraine.
Four Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers and two Tu-22M Backfire long-range bombers were intercepted in international airspace by Portuguese F-16 fighter jets assigned to NATO, spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said.
Military encounters between Russia and the West have increased dramatically in recent months, according to a report released in early November. The report released by European Leadership Network (eln) documents 40 of Russia’s instigated incidents over the last eight months, and says military tension between nato and Russia has not been higher since the Cold War ended.
“These events add up to a highly disturbing picture of violations of national airspace, emergency scrambles, narrowly avoided midair collisions, close encounters at sea, simulated attack runs and other dangerous actions happening on a regular basis over a very wide geographical area,” the report’s executive summary states.
The world has been fixated on the Ukrainian crisis, but this report shows that Russian aggression extends far beyond the borders of Ukraine. Continue reading