Russia Intercepts US Spy Planes Over Black Sea for Fourth Time This Week

Spy planes were approaching Russian border

Russia has reported that one of their Su-27 jets intercepted two US spy planes over the Black Sea on Thursday, noting this is the fourth time in the past week they’ve caught US planes in the sea, approaching the Russian border.

US officials have not commented on why those spy planes are there, but the US has seemed to have growing interest in the Black Sea as tensions grow between Russia and NATO member Romania over control of the inland sea.

The US has very limited legal ability to put ships in the sea, and thus little opportunity to send surveillance planes from ships in the area so they can approach the Russian border in such a way.

While intercepting spy planes near one’s border is standard, the US almost always expresses outrage when Russia intercepts them, as they did Thursday. Expect the Pentagon to fault Russia for an “unsafe” interception in the days to come.

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.