Russian Jets Intercept US Bombers Over Black and Baltic Seas

Incidents happened just after NATO intercepted Russian bombers last week

Russia’s Defense Ministry reported two incidents on Friday, in which a Su-27 and a Su-30 were sent to intercept a pair of US B-1B bombers flying over international waters in the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea.

Russia said the intercepting planes followed the US bombers over international waters, waiting until the bombers changed their directions and left the area. The US has not addressed this so far, though history suggests the Pentagon will fault Russia for it.

This comes just over a week after another Black Sea incident, in which NATO jets were sent to intercept a pair of Russian bombers that were close to Romanian airspace. Such interceptions are fairly regular, with NATO claiming nearly 300 violations by Russia in 2019.

Interestingly, for all the problems the US and NATO claim to have with such “violations,” there continue to be cases, mostly with US bombers and surveillance planes, violating Russian airspace or tracing the boundaries in a deliberately provocative manner. When this happens, the US complains it is “unprofessional” of Russia to intercept, even though this is what the US routinely does.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.