Russian bombers buzz Europe, North America during Ukrainian president visit

Russian bombers buzz Europe, North America during Ukrainian president visit

[Ed. – Once again, this isn’t usual.]

Russian strategic nuclear bombers carried out air defense zone incursions near Alaska and across Northern Europe this week in the latest nuclear saber rattling by Moscow.

Six Russian aircraft, including two Bear H nuclear bombers, two MiG-31 fighter jets and two IL-78 refueling tankers were intercepted by F-22 fighters on Wednesday west and north of Alaska in air defense identification zones, said Navy Capt. Jeff A. Davis, a spokesman for the U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command. Two other Bears were intercepted by Canadian jets on Thursday. …

A day later two more Bear bombers were intercepted by Canadian CF-18 jets in the western area of the Canadian air defense identification zone near the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska, he said. …

One defense official said the Russian bomber activity appeared timed to the visit to the United States and Canada by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The Ukrainian leader was in Ottawa for meetings with Canadian leaders on Wednesday. He met with President Obama on Thursday.
Ukraine is locked in a battle with Moscow over the Russian military annexation of Crimea and continuing backing of pro-Russian Ukrainian militias in eastern Ukraine.

Over Europe on Tuesday, two Bear H bombers conducted practice strategic bombing runs on Tuesday and were met by interceptor jets from Norway, Denmark, Britain, and Netherlands, defense officials told the Free Beacon. …

In a related development, Sweden’s military on Friday confirmed that two Russian Su-24 fighter-bombers violated the country’s airspace on Wednesday. A Gripen jet fighter was scrambled to intercept the jets.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt called the Russian jet incident “the most serious aerial incursion by the Russians during my years as foreign minister,” Sweden’s news outlet The Local reported Friday.

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