Russia has stated that one of its fighter jets was forced to intercept a pair of U.S. B-52 bombers that were flying out over the Baltic Sea this past Monday, a possible provocation that has taken place just a scant few days after Russian planes harrassed and then intentionally downed a U.S. drone into the Black Sea.
One Russian SU-35 was allegedly scrambled to deal with the U.S. planes, which were reportedly flying towards Russia, but was recalled to its base after the B-52s turned away, as reported by the Russian Defense Ministry. The statement was sent out alongside footage claimed to have been shot from the cockpit of the Russian plane which showed one of the two American jets.
"On March 20, radar facilities of the air defense forces of the Western military district on duty over the Baltic Sea detected two air targets flying in the direction of the Russian Federation’s state border," expressed the ministry. "No violation of the state border of the Russian Federation was permitted."
A comment was not immediately issued by the U.S. in the wake of the incident being reported.
⚡️@mod_russia: 🇷🇺 air defence radars detected 2 aerial targets flying in the direction of 🇷🇺 state border over the Baltic Sea.
❗️The targets were classified as 2 🇺🇸 Air Force B-52H strategic bombers.
A Su-35 fighter jet scrambled to prevent a violation of 🇷🇺 state border. pic.twitter.com/3u9IRFC5iK
— Russian Embassy in USA 🇷🇺 (@RusEmbUSA) March 20, 2023
This incident took place just as Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a visit to Moscow to carry out talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin with the aim of ending the RUssian-Ukraine war. It also comes in the wake of a pair of Russian nuclear bombers flying out over the Sea of Japan for an extended period of time just as Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida paid a visit to Ukraine.
This past week, a $32 million U.S. MQ-9 Reaper spy drone was targeted by and harassed by a pair of Russian pilots who chose to dump fuel on the drone prior to one of the fighters intentionally clipping the propeller of the surveillance drone, forcing U.S> forces to take down the drone into international waters. Sergei SHoigu, the Russian Defense Minister, lauded the actions of the pilot this past Friday, claiming that they stopped the drone from making its way into airspace that Russia claims to own.
Officials with the White House have labeled the actions from Russia when it comes to this drone as "reckless" but claimed it has not yet been determined if the pair of pilots took down the drone intentionally or not.
"32 million U.S. MQ-9 Reaper spy drone," claimed Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "And clearly we do not seek armed conflict with Russia and I believe at this point we should investigate this incident and move on from there."