Four times in a row, day after day, we see how the Russian aircraft again provocations. Vladimir Putin makes clear that he has returned to the confrontational policy against the United States including in the military sphere.
After two years, the Russian strategic nuclear bombers appeared close to the borders of the United States and Canada. There are three times spotted a Russian Tu-95. Twice Aleutsky Islands and one near Alaska and Canada. The incidents occurred on 17, 18 and 20 April. In addition, in the same district on April 19 there was a Russian aircraft Il-38, designed to destroy submarines.
The last time the Russians from time to time to suit such operations in 2012-2014, while the flights of the Tu-95 is temporarily stopped after the accident on 8 June 2015. Then one of the bombers skidded off the runway and caught fire, resulting in one crew member was killed and several were injured. The first visit of the uninvited guests took place on 17 April. To intercept the Russian bombers, which appeared in the South-West of the island of Kodiak, the U.S. command took to the air, two fighter stealth F-22 Raptor, the AEW E-3 Sentry AEW and the “flying tank” KC-135. They flew from the base, Elmendorf-Richardson and intercepted the Russians in the inner identification zone air defense of the United States (ADIZ). This “air space over land or sea, in which for the purposes of national security interests is the identification, localization and verification of civil aviation,” a kind of buffer zone, which allows to identify foreign aircraft, before he enters into the immediate airspace of the state. In fact, any aircraft appearing in the area without permission, can be perceived as a threat and call it flight of the hostile, and then using fighters to intercept it and to make a visual identification.
The Russians for 12 minutes flying along the Aleutian Islands, accompanied by American fighters, and then rolled to the side. A little less than a day, and a couple Tu-95 re-emerged in the vicinity of Alaska. This time they were accompanied by only AWACS aircraft E-3 Sentry, the bombers are not flying. As the next day in the same area there is the Maritime patrol aircraft of Russia: two cars Il-38. This provocation has not ended. 20 APR Tu-95 re-emerged in the identification zone air defense of the U.S. near Alaska. The incident occurred much closer to the border than in previous days: approximately 700 nautical miles southwest from anchorage. When the American early warning system in Alaska spotted two Russian aircraft approaching from the West to the canadian border, the Canadians also raised the alarm just in case, and took to the air two fighter CF-18. Aircraft with red and blue star that was not seen since December 2014.
The white house doesn’t want to give these four incidents are of too much importance, and stresses that they are “nothing extraordinary”. Press Secretary of the Pentagon Jeff Davis (Jeff Davis) were reassured that “all planes are operated safely, professionally and did not violate U.S. airspace”. However, it is difficult to ignore that provocation occurred shortly after a visit to Moscow, the head of American diplomacy. Rex Tillerson has held talks with Vladimir Putin and Sergey Lavrov, and his message by returning to sound clearly: the deepest crisis in relations between the US and Russia has become a fact. The resumption of patrols near U.S. airspace finally confirmed that after the missile strike Americans on the basis of Assad’s forces in Syria, the Kremlin abandoned expectant position. After the inauguration of the trump the disappointment of Moscow increased from month to month. The rapid cooling of political relations was accompanied by a return to the confrontational military policy, which was typical for the period 2014-2016. An example would be two-fold emergence of the Russian reconnaissance ship “Victor Leonov,” near the East coast of the United States or provocation of Russian planes against the American destroyer USS Porter in the Black sea. From the same destroyer, by the way, the Americans released then missiles bases of Assad.
Russia declares that it “regularly patrol the neutral waters of the Arctic, Black sea, Atlantic and Pacific oceans”. Four incidents occurred over four days — this is a demonstrative move of Putin, which seeks to show that Russia claims the status of a global power that the Russians are again everywhere and, as in Soviet times, expand their military presence. They started to fly near the borders of American allies. In April, Japan had four times to raise in the air fighters.
The emergence of Russian aircraft near the US means that Moscow has returned to the policy of provocation (primarily strategic bombers) against members of NATO and American allies. The Russians appealed to her in the fall of 2011, when they resumed lapsed after the end of the cold war, the flying of nuclear bombers over the Baltic sea. The escalation came after the Ukraine war broke out. In the period from March 2014 to March 2015 in the Euro-Atlantic space has been over 60 dangerous incidents involving Russian military aircraft.
Russian actions become more aggressive and intense than during the cold war. In the framework of the Soviet principles of cooperation with NATO aircraft such steps as it is now, was unthinkable. Moscow has imposed strict limitations for their pilots once, in 1983, a Russian fighter jet shot down the Malaysian passenger plane.
Washington believed that the intensification of the air provocations connected with the increasing American military presence in Eastern Europe. Also we are probably dealing here with the probing capabilities of NATO and the United States. In addition, loud-sounding threats are designed to influence Western public opinion, persuading her that the West is afraid of Russia’s military might. At the same time Putin, who can not because of the economic crisis to provide its citizens with “bread”, offers to them the spectacle available in financial terms, but risky adventures. Thanks to them, Russia is a power to be reckoned with, even the Americans. The provocation is another aspect. As some analysts believe, risky actions of the Russian pilots, in which political tensions can be explained by the fact that the army of Russia tries to show what an important role it plays for the country. All about money: budget cuts already touched on the armed forces, and the generals want to avoid them.
One of the most dangerous incidents occurred on 12 April 2016 in the Baltic sea. Two Russian su-24 bomber 20 times flew at low altitude over the U.S. destroyer USS Donald Cook, when on the deck of the Polish refueled the helicopter. At some point the Russian machine passed just nine metres above the ship. In addition the Russians simulated attack. Said the American officers in the Navy, never seen anything like this since the cold war. On the same day, the destroyer flew a Russian helicopter Ka-27. Two days later, the Russians staged in the Baltic sea following a dangerous provocation. On 14 April a Russian su-27 was close to American spy plane RC-135. Russians intercepted a car carrying out a scheduled flight, “a dangerous and unprofessional manner.” RC-135, that is stuffed with electronics Boeing 707, was in international air space and did not invade Russian. Su-27 was performing dangerous maneuvers at high speed, at some point he got just 15 metres from the left wing of the RC-135, made on him called a barrel (that is turned 360° about its longitudinal axis) and found himself at the right wing American.
If in the past it was possible to speak primarily about the political and military aspect of the incidents involving Russian aircraft, now there’s a third factor that is perhaps even more dangerous. Important here is not the risk that the attacked object (plane, ship) will attempt to shoot down a Russian car. Russian pilots have been taking an extremely risky operation, so increases the probability of possible collisions. If it happens, will not only sacrifice, but also the international implications that are easy to imagine.
Threat not only daring maneuvers of pilots, and that Russian planes move with the transponder off. The army can intercept such a visitor, but with the civil aviation situation is complicated. In the air over the Baltic sea was already at least two situations when passenger planes were on the brink of collision with Russian engines.
Starting in 2014 the invasion of Ukraine, Russia began to pursue an active policy of provocations and threats against the United States, Europe and Japan. First, the Russian planes regularly violating the airspace of Finland, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, then the Russians started to annoy not only the weakest members of NATO, but the United States itself. After winning the presidential election was won by Donald trump, the situation calmed down, but, as we have seen, is history.