Moscow slams simulated US strikes on Russia by strategic B-52 bombers
Iran Press TV
Saturday, 12 September 2020 10:36 AM
Top commander of Russia's Aerospace Forces has slammed as "provocative" a US aerial drill late last month in which strategic B-52h bombers simulated strikes against Russia by cruise missiles from Estonia and Canada.
The Russian military considers such drills held with strategic bombers close to the Russian border to be of "unfriendly and provocative character," said the commander-in-chief of the country's Aerospace Forces Col. Gen. Sergei Surovikin.
Gen. Surovikin said the US war planes had made several attempts to get closer to the Russian border but been warned off by Russian jet fighters.
The head of planning for US Air Forces in Europe and Africa said recently a series of American aerial war games over Europe in recent weeks was meant to reassure allies.
Six B-52 bombers flew from the US state of North Dakota to Europe late last month, landing in the UK on August 22 for what the Air Force called "a long-planned training mission."
A training flight with British and French fighter jets on August 27 was followed by a single-day flight over all 30 NATO members "to demonstrate NATO solidarity, enhance readiness, and provide training opportunities," the US Air Force declared.
Encounters between Russian and NATO aircraft over Europe have become more frequent, pointing to growing tensions since Crimea joined Russia following a national referendum in favor of its separation from Ukraine in 2014.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said last week that NATO surveillance flights "close to Russian borders" had increased more than 30 percent, from 87 in August 2019 to nearly 120 last month.
According to officials, Russian aircraft have scrambled seven times so far this month to intercept NATO surveillance planes near important Russian military bases.
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