Over the past year, NATO has flooded the media with over 100 reports of its aircraft intercepting Russian spy and warplanes over neutral territory which supposedly were getting too close to native soil for comfort and in urgent need of an escort. Last week, however, the roles were reversed when a US RC-135U reconnaissance aircraft was intercepted in very close proximity by a Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet over the Baltic Sea near Russia’s Kaliningrad Region.
The Pentagon promptly accused the Russian pilot of coming dangerously close to the US aircraft. Continue reading
BODO, Norway — From his command post burrowed deep into a mountain of quartz and slate north of the Arctic Circle, the 54-year-old commander of the Norwegian military’s operations headquarters watches time flowing backward, pushed into reverse by surging Russian military activity redolent of East-West sparring during the Cold War.
“I am what you could call a seasoned Cold Warrior,” the commander, Lt. Gen. Morten Haga Lunde, said, speaking in an underground complex built to withstand a nuclear blast. As a result, he added, he is not too alarmed by increased Russian military activity along NATO’s northern flank.
After a long hiatus following the December 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, when Moscow grounded its strategic bombers for lack of fuel, spare parts and will to project power, President Vladimir V. Putin’s newly assertive Russia “is back to normal behavior,” General Lunde said. Continue reading
THE HAGUE, August 21, /ITAR-TASS/. A Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 fighter jet took to the skies twice on Thursday to escort two Russian Tu-95 bombers, the Dutch Defense Ministry said.
According to the Ministry, two Russian warplanes were flying from the north accompanied by two Danish F-16 planes. A Dutch fighter jet accompanied the Tu-95s over the Dutch territory up to the British area of responsibility. Continue reading