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US warplanes intercept Russian bombers near Alaska

Posted October. 20, 2022 07:55,   

Updated October. 20, 2022 07:55


Russian bombers capable of carrying nuclear missiles were intercepted by U.S. fighter planes in the Alaskan air defense identification zone (ADIZ). As the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) began nuclear deterrence training and Russia is forecasted to stage an armed protest targeting the U.S., there are concerns about the rising military tension between the U.S. and Russia with regard to the war in Ukraine.

The Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation announced that two Tu-95 bombers carried out a scheduled 12-hour flight mission over the Pacific Ocean and the neutral waters of the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk on Monday (local time). “MiG-31 of the Pacific Fleet joined the operation. Tu-95 crew members received training for refueling during flight,” the Russian ministry explained. Tu-95 is Russia’s main long-distance bomber capable of launching cruise missiles mounted with nuclear warheads.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) announced on Tuesday that two Russian bombers entered the ADIZ near Alaska on Monday. “We identified two Tu-95 bombers and dispatched F-16 flight jets to intercept them,” said the NORAD in its statement. ADIZs are airspace areas requiring all aircraft nearing sovereign airspace to be identified and located.

The Russian bombers’ entrance into the Alaskan ADIZ occurred when NATO was conducting “Steadfast Noon,” an annual nuclear deterrence training, from the day before while Russia’s nuclear threats were building up.

“We haven’t seen any sign that Russia decided to use nuclear weapons,” Patrick Ryder, the spokesperson of the U.S. Department of Defense, said during his briefing on Tuesday on Russia’s nuclear threats. “We are completely ready (for Russia’s potential nuclear scenario),” he added. “This kind of nuclear saber rattling is reckless; it’s irresponsible. And so it's something that we'll continue to keep a close eye on.”

Meanwhile, Russia conducted military training that included Yars intercontinental ballistic missile on October 13. “This is Russia’s annual tnuclear weapons training” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an order on September 21 to mobilize 300,000 reservists for the first time since World War II. He also said a few days later that all means would be used to protect the Russian territory when he signed a merger treaty for four occupied areas in Ukraine, implying a possible use of nuclear weapons.