In the late afternoon of Friday the 28th of August, a B-52 bomber was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 fighter in international airspace over the Baltic Sea.

NATO say that the intercept occurred as the B-52 bomber was closing in on Danish airspace in the vicinity of the Island of Bornholm. The Russian Su-27, flying from Kaliningrad, followed the B-52 well into Danish airspace over the island, committing a significant violation of airspace of a NATO nation.

“This incident demonstrates Russia’s disrespect of international norms and for the sovereign airspace of an Allied nation. We remain vigilant, ready and prepared to secure NATO airspace 24/7,” said General Jeff Harrigian, Commander of NATO’s Allied Air Command.

This happened as the the bombers were deployed to “fly over all 30 NATO members in one day”.

Danish Quick Reaction Alert aircraft were launched to counter the violation, however the violating Russian fighters turned back before interception. The Danish jets remained airborne however, say NATO.

A United States Air Force B-52 bomber taking off from Fairford, to participate in training activity “Allied Sky”. Photo courtesy of United States Air Force.

“The unauthorised intrusion of sovereign airspace is a significant violation of international law. Friday’s incident is the first of this kind for several years and indicates a new level of Russian provocative behavior. The B-52 bomber was taking part in the long-planned training activity ‘Allied Sky’, where six B-52 aircraft flew over all 30 NATO member nations in one single day, accompanied by and training with around 80 fighter aircraft from across the Alliance.”

The Russian Su-27 during the intercept. The fighter jet followed the US aircraft well into Danish airspace. Still image taken from a video courtesy of United States Air Force.
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Matt C
Matt C
28 days ago

Gate-crashing gopniks…?

Paul T
Paul T
28 days ago

Flying that close to our friends in Kaliningrad must surely have justified a Fighter Escort of some kind id have thought.

BB85
BB85
28 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

The Russians aren’t going to shoot it down unless it actually crosses into their airspace. If Nato did send an escort Russia would just send double the amount of interceptors to prove a point and the whole thing ends up costing a fortune for what is a routine patrol.

Mark B
Mark B
28 days ago
Reply to  BB85

Surely the issue is the Putin does not adhere to any of the other rules. Why should he adhere to that one?

If the Russians continue to break the rules sooner or later things will get out of hand and that when it gets dangerous. Some diplomacy is needed.

dan
dan
28 days ago

That tiny Putin is like a 2 year old throwing a hissy fit. He wants Russia to be relevant like in the old days so he pulls stupid stunts like this to get attention.

TrevorH
TrevorH
28 days ago
Reply to  dan

Putin is 67. I suppose he could linger on like Mugabe, but then if he does, Russia would end up like Zimbabwe.

Mark B
Mark B
28 days ago
Reply to  TrevorH

It is up to the Russian people to choose their leader. Will they put up with a economy like Zimbabwe?

NATO countries need to focus minimising any collateral damage regardless of who is in charge.

TrevorH
TrevorH
28 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Up to the Russian people?
Putin just poisoned their opposition leader.

Mark B
Mark B
28 days ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Those are my thoughts. Should popular opinion shift away it seems unlikely that he would be able to maintain power for long?

Gfor
Gfor
28 days ago
Reply to  TrevorH

The Russian people don’t choose who their leaders are, but it goes to show that Putin’s propaganda is still fooling some.

Harold
Harold
28 days ago

Both sides are like children and this silliness must stop. There are more imortant things to be sorted out and this posturing by both sides is juvenile.

Ulya
Ulya
28 days ago
Reply to  Harold

Agree with you Harold

dave12
dave12
28 days ago
Reply to  Ulya

LOL yes Ulya ,you agreeing with Harold is no surprise.

John Clark
John Clark
28 days ago
Reply to  Harold

I would say appeasing the Russians doesn’t work, they only respond to strength, to suggest they will play nicely if NATO backs off is naive I am afraid, the current regime in Moscow can no more be appeased than Germany prior to WW2.

You have to understand the current Kremlin mentality Harold, Putin has only one card to play and it’s “Hard Man” , he’s a one trick pony presiding over a shattered economy. Any attempt to play it any other way and he looses control, just like Hitler in the pre war years really….

Ulya
Ulya
28 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Your interpretation of things are interesting John. Your first paragraph, swap Russia with NATO and I read the same idea in Russian sites. Putin is not seen as ‘hard man’ here, he is seen as very conservative and cautious with his actions, depending on who you talk to or what sites you read, he is too cautious and needs to take harder stance towards NATO. Putin’s popularity has taken a hit recently, that is more to do with covid, the constitution changes and his foreign policy when it comes to Libya etc, but not Ukraine. It is a pity both… Read more »

dave12
dave12
28 days ago
Reply to  Ulya

Russian media is not exactly independent of the kremlin and would accuse the west of similar actions,Putin poisoning his only opposition leader shows the mentality of his regime ,NATO have not used a chemical weapon on Russian soil but Russia’s GRU have done on UK/NATO soil, I seem to remember when grilling you Ulya on this issue you saying the traitors deserve it lol. Russia probably would be unstable if Putin suddenly died because Russia’s system is based around one man that being Putin just like the collapse of the USSR,totalitarian regime tend to end badly when their time is… Read more »

Ulya
Ulya
28 days ago
Reply to  dave12

Russian media is not the best Dave, I think we have discussed this before, many people my age are bi/multi lingual so read western media to try and get balanced view. Navalny, I see he has become the darling for western media and a major political threat to Putin, that’s cute, have fun with those stories, he is a sell out and corrupt, Putin may have ordered this or there is a long line of other options, I don’t know the answer but I do find it funny how the west portray him. Traitors do deserve to die, Slav are… Read more »

Damo
Damo
28 days ago
Reply to  Ulya

Not sure he’s a darling of the west. I just think we’re a bit incredulous that Putin keeps bumping off his enemies and makes no attempt to cover it up.

The start of the Ukraine conflict always felt like 2 mates having a silly falling out with a girl and it getting out of hand. Need to do more reading on this i think

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
28 days ago
Reply to  Ulya

“Traitors do deserve to die” …… really, quite a chilling comment, Ulya. I would argue that Putin is portrayed in the UK exactly as you would expect. There is considerable evidence he is implicated in a chemical weapons attack on this county, plus the murder of a critic by plutonium poisoning. I once visited Russia, it’s a great country – with some great people. But political power should be transient, instead, too often, the fortunes of a politician are confused with the fortunes of Mother Russia. Clearly, power has dangerously corrupted Putin and his cronies – and you would be… Read more »

dave12
dave12
27 days ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

Spot on Mr Reid.

RobW
RobW
28 days ago
Reply to  Ulya

Hi Ulya. Can I just ask if no one is allowed to oppose Putin (or at least that is the way it seems from what we read in the West) then how is that democracy? Our system is far from perfect, I mean just look at the imbeciles in the UK Government, but at least we know they are accountable and will go when voted out. It seems that anyone who opposes Putin is labelled as corrupt, criminal, pro-western, then disposed of in one way or another. On one hand you want relations with the West to be better but… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
28 days ago
Reply to  Ulya

@Ulya
The UK’s last opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, had some radical views compared with rest of the political establishment. No attempts were made to harm Him, by poisoning etc!
The fight was a purely political, and he was politically defeated, he is no longer the opposition leader, and been democratically replaced as leader,
is he is still a MP for his constituency.
I hope you learn from our example Ulya?

Meirion X
Meirion X
28 days ago
Reply to  Ulya

I forgot to add, A similarly to sport, but with No cheating, Ulya!

John Clark
John Clark
28 days ago
Reply to  Ulya

Fist of Ulya, Its always interesting to get a first hand account from someone in Russia, so thanks for that. I have worked for Russian Companies as a sub contractor in the past connected with civil aviation and the guys working for the company have always been friendly with a great sense of humour. Sadly, a little like a microcosm of the real world, the one thing they all shared was a genuine and very real fear of the boss and company owner. You know as well as I do, its largely the Russian way of control and leadership through… Read more »

Ulya
Ulya
27 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

It’s late so please forgive me if my English gets lazy or I miss a reply, Alan, I was raised with strict tribal law, maybe I could of worded more softly about traitor but end result still the same, betray your people for money has no justification. You have evidence re chemical attack, so use it! Move beyond trial by media that I care nothing about, I have said this many time before, if you want me to believe then make legal case and show me proven evidence, I will be happy to then say sorry, it was dick move… Read more »

RobW
RobW
27 days ago
Reply to  Ulya

Thank you for replying Ulya, it is always interesting to hear your views. The Russian donations to UK politicians is a hot topic here but I am not sure we are any closer to understanding the situation. Democracy in this country is not without problems and corruption. The impression we get in the UK is that all the power resides with Putin and his inner circle, not with the Duma. Given your comments that might be an over simplification, the truth is often more nuanced than the media portray. I have never really understood the UK’s closeness with the US.… Read more »

dave12
dave12
27 days ago
Reply to  Ulya

The UK Ulya does have the overwhelming evidence indeed ,and would use it if the GRU agents involved were allowed to be extradited to the UK ,but Russia will not let that happen, and its not trial by media Ulya the evidence is pretty clear to just the common eye lol! Russia’s story that the two identified GRU agents went on holiday to visit Salisbury, you really must think we are that stupid lol. As for Putin’s political Opposition the communist party is there just for looks , Putin holds the real power as shown recently on his grab for… Read more »

Paul T
Paul T
27 days ago
Reply to  dave12

Tests conducted in Germany seem to point to Novichok being the Poisonous Substance use on Alexei Navalny.

Meirion X
Meirion X
28 days ago
Reply to  Ulya

@Ulya
Could you please direct me to one of those sites, so I can see for my self of those opinions?

Airborne
Airborne
27 days ago
Reply to  Harold

Dropping your potatoes off Harold old boy!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
26 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

🙂

Matt C
Matt C
27 days ago
Reply to  Harold

“Both sides are like children”? How many sides violated sovereign airspace?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
26 days ago
Reply to  Matt C

The US flying D12 Drones into China. The US flying Sentinel over Iran. The US flying U2 over Russia. The US flying SAC bombers into Siberia. The US / UK flying Canberra into Russia The US / UK sailing SSN into Soviet waters. The US tapping Soviet USC with SSN during “Ivy Bells” Add the hundreds of unknowns, ongoing, that will never be written of. It goes on and on and on and, while I won’t side with Russia, I find the hypocricy hillarious when UKDJ erupts because Russia fly’s elderly Bears or the more modern Blackjacks towards NATO. Though… Read more »

Paul42
Paul42
28 days ago

I understood the B52s were supposed to be escorted by fighters from the numerous countries they were overflying? I doubt a single Russian would have approached escorting fighters? Come on NATO, get your act together!

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
28 days ago

I think more the issue is when this kind of dangerous manoeuvring is going to result in one or two aircraft going down through collision. Nobody wants it to happen and it will be the Russian planes fault as they almost never have transponders on or observe normal flight safety envelopes. I agree that Putin is always playing the thoughtful strong man card. The act is wearing a bit thin both at home and abroad. Hence the ratings slide. Saying we don’t want another Yeltsin is a bit silly as Yeltsin was a one off. I don’t think anyone needs… Read more »

Daveyb
Daveyb
28 days ago

Kalingrad to Bornholm is a distance of 225 miles. A round trip well within the capabilities of a Su27.The question needs to be raised why was it necessary for the Su 27 to follow the B52? Did the B52 enter the airspace near Kalingrad? It probably got close to measure Russia’s reaction times, but I doubt it went into their airspace.

Bill
Bill
27 days ago

Do the Danes have a QRA? If they do they might just want to make it a little bit quicker.

Paul T
Paul T
27 days ago
Reply to  Bill

All the Scandinavian Countries have a QRA capability,as to how it compares to the RAF i couldnt say.

PeterDK
PeterDK
27 days ago
Reply to  Bill

We do. But our sole fighter base is located 400 km away from Bornholm, where the incursion took place.

Andy B
Andy B
26 days ago

If an enemy aircraft illegally enters our airspace, it should be shot down immediately. A message must be sent to the Kremlin…. DO NOT CROSS OUR BORDERS. Russia tried to bully the Turkish. The Turks gave them a warning, then at the next instance – shot the intruder down. But then Turkey is a country that stands up for itself. Result – Russian jets got the message plenty quick enough and now do not violate Turkish airspace. Denmark and NATO’s failure to act in this instance makes the alliance look weak and pathetic. If you are inside our borders you… Read more »

Paul T
Paul T
26 days ago
Reply to  Andy B

Personally i dont think starting WW3 over an incursion into ones Airspace is a good idea,however correct in International Law it might appear to be.Turkey took one massive gamble in downing that SU24,but the Russians knew that their adventure in Syria would be bled dry if they had retaliated as Turkey could control all the resupply routes by Air and Sea.