Russia sends fighter jets to intercept U.S. strategic bombers

a fighter jet flying through a blue sky: Russia's MiG-31 supersonic interceptor jets fly over Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2018. Russia's defense ministry said MiG-31 jets accompanied U.S. B-52-N strategic bombers over the Bering Sea on 15 July 2021.

Russia’s defense ministry has said it scrambled fighter jets to escort U.S. bombers over the Bering Sea in the country’s far east, as tensions between Moscow and Washington continue to ramp up.

Moscow said on Thursday that it sent MiG-31 and Su-35 fighters to accompany the U.S. Air Force’s B-52-N strategic bombers over the Bering Sea, which separates North America from Russia.

“Russian airspace control devices over the neutral waters of the Bering Sea detected three air targets approaching the state border of the Russian Federation,” Russia’s defense ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said that after the U.S. aircraft turned away from the Russian border, Russian fighters landed “safely at home.”

“The state border of the Russian Federation was not violated,” Tass reported, using the formulaic language that Moscow employs for such missions, which have increased in frequency recently amid tit-for-tat flights of military aircraft between the countries.

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