End Times News Update
Sign: Rumors of War / King of the North (status of Russian military forces)
Scripture: Matthew 24:6 / Ezekiel 38:3-9
News Source: CNN
Russian bombers ‘intercepted in British airspace’
By Barry Neild, CNN
March 25, 2010 12:11 p.m. EDT
London, England (CNN) — Rare photos of Russian strategic bomber jets
purportedly intercepted in British airspace show Moscow’s war machine
is becoming increasingly bold, analysts said Thursday as Russia denied
any territorial violations.
Britain’s Ministry of Defence released images it said were taken
earlier this month of two Russian Tu-160 bombers — known as
Blackjacks by NATO forces — as they entered UK airspace near the
Outer Hebrides islands off Scotland’s northwest coast.
It said the March 10 incident, which resulted in crystal clear images
of the planes against clear blue skies and a dramatic sunset, was one
of many intercepts carried out by British Royal Air Force crews in
just over 12 months.
“This is not an unusual incident, and many people may be surprised to
know that our crews have successfully scrambled to intercept Russian
aircraft on more than 20 occasions since the start of 2009,” Wing Cdr.
Mark Gorringe, of the RAF’s 111 Squadron, said in a statement.
The RAF said two of its Tornado fighter jets from its base at
Leuchars, on Scotland’s east coast, were dispatched to tail the
Russian Blackjacks as they approached the western Isle of Lewis.
“The Tornados shadowed the Russians as they flew south, then the
Blackjacks turned north, just short of the Northern Ireland coast, and
eventually left UK airspace,” the statement said.
“After four hours, the Tornado crews stood down and returned to Leuchars.”
Several of the images show the name Vasily Reshetnikov in Russian
lettering near the cockpit of one plane. Reshetnikov was a celebrated
Soviet pilot who fought on the Eastern Front in World War II.
Russian military authorities on Thursday confirmed their aircraft had
been in the area, but denied any violation of British airspace.
“Our planes fly in strict accordance with the international rules
government the use of airspace over neutral waters without violating
the borders of foreign countries,” Defense Ministry spokesman
Lieutenant-Colonel Vladimir Drik told CNN.
“The routine flights by the Tu-160 missile carriers took place in
accordance with those conditions on March 10. They did not violate
British airspace, and objective control materials confirm that.”
Experts say regardless of the exact flight paths, the increased
sorties by Russian aircrafts in international airspace show Moscow is
flexing its muscles as it re-emerges as a global military player.
“Russia is now an oil exporting state so they’ve got more money to
spend on their armed forces after the 1990s when they were bankrupt,”
defense analyst Tim Ripley told CNN.
Ripley said the increase in air activity began shortly before Russia’s
brief 2008 territorial skirmish with Georgia, but while it was a clear
show of strength, it did not represent sinister intent.
While ties between Russia and the UK have been strained in recent
years, Ripley said talks with Washington that look set to result in a
new arms control deal were a clearer indication of Moscow’s global