MOSCOW/WASHINGTON: The Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that two of its Tu-95MS strategic bombers flew more than 12 hours over the Pacific Ocean, the Bering Sea and the Sea of ‘Okhotsk.
The flight of the nuclear-capable planes came at a tense moment in Russia’s war with Ukraine and its confrontation with the West, after NATO and the United States said they would expected Russia to test its nuclear forces imminently.
The planes were escorted by MiG-31 fighter jets and refueled in the air, the ministry said. He described the mission as “a scheduled flight over neutral waters” under international airspace rules.
US fighter jets intercept Russian bombers near Alaska
The ministry did not specify the route, but a flight path over the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea would have passed close to Japan and the United States.
US F-16 fighter jets intercepted two Russian bombers in international airspace near the state of Alaska on Tuesday, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said.
NATO is conducting nuclear preparedness exercises this week and has said it expects Russia to hold its own nuclear drills imminently. The Kremlin said earlier Tuesday that it had no information on this.
US officials have said they expect Russian drills to include ballistic missile test launches.
President Vladimir Putin warned on September 21 that he was ready to defend Russia’s “territorial integrity” by any means, including nuclear weapons if necessary.
Posted in Dawn, October 19, 2022