Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers flew over the Barents, Norwegian and North Sea. At several parts of the route, they were escorted by Norwegian fighters, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced.
The department noted that Russian bombers regularly fly over the neutral waters of the Arctic, Black and Baltic Seas and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. These flights, the Russians claim, are done in complete compliance with international regulations, and do not violate the borders of any other countries.
On August 9, several MiG-31 fighters, six anti-submarine Tu-142s and an Il-38 flew over the Norwegian Sea off the coast of Scandinavia. “Flights to search for the submarines of a hypothetical enemy were conducted in international airspace over the Barents and Norwegian Sea,” the Russian Defense Ministry reported. The MiG-31s escorted the naval aircraft and rehearsed air combat tactics. The Barents Observer wrote that Norwegian fighters were scrambled to intercept the group of Russian aircraft on three occasions.
The Latvian military has drawn attention to the increased activity of the Russian Air Force and Navy in Northern Europe. The Latvian Defense Ministry believes that during the Ocean Shield exercise, the Russian military will practice blocking off the sea routes in order to make it harder for NATO forces to access the Baltic Sea.
On August 8 it was learned that two Russian Tu-95 strategic missile carriers had flown over the neutral waters of the Bering Sea. At certain times, they were escorted by American F-22s and F-18s. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) tweeted that Russian bombers had been intercepted by US fighters.