Post by Oleg Smirnov
the American agitprop absurdities.
Russian military strategy causing dangerous encounters
The Russian su-27 fighter jet photographed next to a Swedish
A full list of 39 incidents since March 2014
As classified by the European Leadership Network
High Risk Incidents
On 3 March 2014 a close encounter occurred between a SAS passenger plane
taking off from Copenhagen and a Russian reconnaissance aircraft which
did not transmit its position 50 miles south east of Malmo. A collision
was apparently avoided thanks only to good visibility and the alertness
of the passenger plane pilots. The SAS 737 plane was carrying 132
passengers to Rome.
On 5 September 2014 an Estonian security service operative, Eston
Kohver, was abducted by Russian agents from an Estonian border post, on
Estonian, and therefore NATO, territory. He was later taken to Moscow
and accused of espionage. The incident itself involved communications
jamming and the use of smoke grenades, and took place immediately after
President Obama’s visit to the region and his repetition of security
assurances to the Baltic States.
Between 17-27 October, 2014 a major submarine hunt by Swedish
authorities was prompted by credible intelligence reports of “underwater
activity” in the Stockholm archipelago in Swedish territorial waters.
Supreme Commander General Sverker Göranson underlined that Sweden was
ready to use “armed force” to bring the vessel to the surface if
necessary. Russia issued denials and attempted to ridicule Swedish
concerns. The major search operation stopped on Oct. 24.
Serious Incidents with Escalation Risk
On 12 April 2014 an unarmed Russian fighter aircraft made 12 passes of
the American warship the USS Cook in the Black Sea. Such aggressive
behaviour, if repeated by an armed aircraft, could have resulted in the
ship commander targeting the aircraft in an act of self-defence.
On April 23 2014 an armed Russian fighter undertook very threatening
manoeuvres in the vicinity of an American reconnaissance aircraft in the
Sea of Okhotsk. These manoeuvres involved demonstrating that the fighter
was armed. Such behaviour is far removed from what would be expected in
a relatively routine encounter.
In June 2014 armed Russian aircraft approached the heavily populated
Danish island of Bornholm before breaking off in what appears to have
been a simulated attack. The Danish intelligence service described the
incident as “of a more offensive character than observed in recent years.”
On 16 July 2014 an armed Russian aircraft intercepted a Swedish
surveillance plane conducting operations between Gotland and Latvia in
international airspace, and flew within 10 metres of the plane. This
indicated a far more aggressive approach to intercepting aircraft than
in previous encounters.
On 18 July 2014 an American surveillance plane conducting operations
near Kaliningrad was chased into Swedish air-space after being
approached by Russian fighters. This evasive action took place without
Sweden’s prior approval that the US aircraft could enter Swedish airspace.
In early September, 2014 Russian strategic bombers in the Labrador Sea
near Canada practiced cruise missile strikes on the United States. The
Russian aircraft stayed outside of Canada’s ADIZ but this was still a
provocative move in light of the NATO summit ongoing at the time. Cruise
missiles launched from the Labrador Sea would have Ottawa, New York,
Washington, Chicago, and the Norfolk Naval Base in range.
On 7 September 2014 HMCS Toronto (a frigate) was buzzed by a Russian
aircraft in the Black Sea, with the plane coming within 300 metres of
the warship. HMCS Toronto locked its radar on the Russian plane but took
no further action as the aircraft was not armed. This incident coincided
with larger Russian naval combat training activities near Sevastopol.
Such aggressive behaviour, if repeated by an armed aircraft, could have
resulted in the ship commander targeting the aircraft in an act of
On 17 September 2014 two Russian military aircraft crossed into Swedish
air-space south of the island of Oland. The Russian Su-24 bombers
intentionally violated Swedish airspace possibly to test the
capabilities of the air defence system strengthened after previous
incidents. The Swedish Foreign Minister described the incident as the
‘most serious aerial incursion’ in years.
On 19 September 2014 Russian officers detained a Lithuanian shipping
vessel in international waters in the Barents Sea, subsequently towing
it to Murmansk. This represented a clear escalation in Russian attempts
at the provocation and intimidation of the Baltic States.
On 3 October 2014 a Russian fighter flew “within metres” of Swedish
surveillance aircraft in the Baltic in an incident deemed “unusually
provocative”. A collision between the aircraft would have had serious
repercussions for bilateral relations and increased military tensions
across the entire Baltic area.
From 28-30 October 2014, Russia conducted a major air exercise in the
North Sea, Atlantic, Black Sea and Baltic Sea. In a series of
developments, aircraft from NATO states and partners tracked Russian
long-range bombers conducting missions across this entire area,
including a large formation of Russian fighters and bombers conducting
missions over the Baltic Sea. All missions were conducted in
international airspace but their scale and use of different kinds of
aircraft and different zones of operation has added significantly to
increased tensions between NATO and Russia.
Near Routine Incidents
On 10 April 2014 two Russian Navy vessels involved in live missile
firing exercises entered Lithuania’s Baltic maritime economic zone,
causing serious disruption to shipping.
On 20 April 2014 a Russian recon aircraft observed Swedish military
installations. Unclear if there was a Swedish response.
On 23 April 2014 a Russian aircraft entered Dutch airspace before being
intercepted by Dutch fighter aircraft.
On 24 April 2014 RAF fighters intercepted and shadowed Russian aircraft
in international airspace over the North Sea.
On 28 April 2014, fighters with the Nato Baltic Air Policing force
scrambled to intercept Russian aircraft in international airspace.
On 9 May 2014 Russian aircraft approached to within 50 miles of the
Californian coast, the closest such Russian military flight since the
On 18 May 2014 RAF fighters intercepted a Russian helicopter and
shadowed it back to its parent corvette in the Baltic Sea; the fighters
later performed several passes of the Russian warship.
In late May, early June 2014 Russian aircraft carried out several
incursions into the US and Canadian Air Defence Identification Zones in
On 12 June 2014, Nato fighters intercepted Russian aircraft in
international airspace near Latvia.
On 17 June 2014, RAF fighters intercepted a Russian air formation in
On 19 June 2014; HMS Montrose, a British frigate, was sent to
investigate a Russian corvette in international waters near Denmark’s
Baltic coast. HMS Montrose was subsequently circled by Russian maritime
From 21 May to 13 August 2014, a series of short airspace violations by
Russian aircraft were reported over the Estonian island of Vaindloo.
On 1 August, Polish fighters of the Nato Baltic air-policing mission
intercepted Russian aircraft flying near Estonia airspace.
In early August 2014 several Russian air incursions were reported into
the Alaskan Air Defence Identification Zone.
On 7 August 2014 anti-submarine forces of Russia’s Northern Fleet
reportedly expelled an American submarine from the Barents Sea. The US
denied its submarines were operating in the area.
On 28 August 2014, there was an air incident involving an unknown Nato
country and Russia. No details beyond aircraft type except that incident
took place over the Baltic.
In August/September 2014, Russian naval and air units interfered with
the operations of a Finnish research vessel on two separate occasions.
In late August, 2014, multiple breaches of Finnish air-space by Russian
state aircraft were reported. In response, Finland has already indicated
that it will react more firmly to violations of its airspace in future.
On 11 September 2014, Canadian jets intercepted Russian aircraft in
Between the 17 and 18 September 2014, Russian jets entered the ADIZ off
the coast of Alaska (officials say such incidents happen around 10 times
a year) on two separate occasions, once on the evening of Wednesday 17th
Sep (USA ADIZ) and once on the morning of Thursday 18th Sep (Canadian
ADIZ, Beaufort Sea). The Russian planes were intercepted by American and
Canadian fighters. These incidents coincide with Ukrainian President
Petro Poroshenko’s visits to Ottawa and Washington.
On 19 September 2014, RAF jets shadowed Russian aircraft in
international airspace above the north sea.
On 29 September 2014, Latvian forces observed a Russian warship
operating 14 miles from Latvian territorial waters; article observes
that Russian jets and warships have been detected 173 times near
Latvia’s borders as of September.
On 20 October 2014, planes from the Baltic Air Policing mission
intercepted Russian surveillance Il-20 aircraft in international airspace
On 21 October 2014 Baltic Air Policing planes (Portuguese F-16s)
intercepted Russian Il-20 surveillance aircraft which entered Estonian
airspace next to the island of Saarema for about a minute.
On 31 October 2014, RAF Typhoons intercepted Russian aircraft
approaching UK airspace.