Russia Says It Intercepted US Spy Planes Over Black Sea: Officials

August 19, 2020 Updated: August 19, 2020

Russia’s Ministry of Defense said Wednesday it scrambled a jet near the Black Sea to intercept to American spy planes approaching its border, according to state-run media.

“To identify the airborne target and prevent it from breaching the Russian state border, Su-27 fighter jet was scrambled,” said Russia’s National Centre for Defence Control (NDCC) on Wednesday, according to Sputnik News. The U.S. plane was identified as a Boeing RC-135 by officials. It’s not clear what military branch it belonged to.

Two days before that, the agency said a Su-27SM fighter escorted a U.S. Air Force plane over the Baltic Sea. On the same day, a Russian fighter jet intercepted three UK and U.S. planes near the Baltic Sea, officials said.

The defense ministry said that in both cases, the American planes were turned away before reaching the Russian border, according to Reuters.

The U.S. Air Force has not responded to a request for comment.

In early June, Russian nuclear-capable bombers were intercepted and escorted by American fighter jets during a flight over neutral waters close to Alaska.

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed to Reuters F-22 Raptor planes accompanied four Russian Tupolev Tu-95MS nuclear-capable bombers during some periods of their flight.

Later in June, U.S. F-22 stealth fighter aircraft scrambled to intercept four Russian reconnaissance planes off Alaska, said NORAD, the U.S and Canadian defense organization.

The interception of the Russian Tu-142s marked the 10th time this year that Russian military aircraft have been intercepted off Alaska, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said in a statement. The Russian aircraft did not enter U.S. or Canadian sovereign airspace, NORAD said.

Reuters contributed to this report.