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Russian fighter jet buzzes U.S. warship

Russian fighter jet buzzes U.S. warship

Adding to tensions between the U.S. and Russia over the situation in Ukraine, a Russian fighter jet made numerous close-range passes near a US Navy ship in the western Black Sea over the weekend.  The action came as Ukraine is confronting continuing conflicts with pro-Russian separatists that have recently escalated.

From Agence France-Presse (via Yahoo News):

A Russian fighter jet made several passes at low altitude near a US destroyer cruising in international waters in the Black Sea at the weekend, the Pentagon said Monday, branding it “provocative and unprofessional.”

The incident close to the Romanian coast further heightens tensions already inflamed by Russia’s actions in Ukraine, where Moscow annexed the Crimean peninsula and stands accused of stoking unrest.

The US vessel was sent to the Black Sea on April 10 in a show of Washington’s solidarity with its Eastern European NATO allies concerned about Russia’s actions.

Colonel Steven Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said: “On April 12, a Russian Su-24 made numerous close-range, low-altitude passes in the vicinity of the USS Donald Cook, while the Cook was conducting operations in international waters in the western Black Sea.

“The aircraft did not respond to multiple queries and warnings from Donald Cook. The event ended without incident after approximately 90 minutes.”

He added: “This provocative and unprofessional Russian action is inconsistent with international protocols and previous agreements on a professional interaction between our militaries.”

Another military official who spoke anonymously to AFP described that during some of its passes, the plane had come close to less than 1,000 meters from the ship.

Tensions of course have been high throughout the continuing crisis in Ukraine, especially after recent conflicts in eastern Ukraine where pro-Russia militants had seized several government and security buildings over the weekend.  The incidents prompted the Ukraine government to issue a deadline for protesters to disarm and vacate buildings and the announcement of an anti-terrorist operation.

But by Monday, pro-Russia forces did not appear to be backing down, with reports of yet another building being taken over – this time in Horlivka –  and the continued occupation of other buildings in eastern Ukraine, according to CNN.

Ukraine’s acting president Oleksandr Turchynov on Monday said Ukraine would welcome the assistance of United Nations peacekeepers, and reaffirmed concerns about Russia’s intentions.

From a statement posted at Turchynov’s official website, in which he recounted a phone conversation with Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon:

According to O. Turchynov, the situation in the East of Ukraine, particularly in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, completely repeats the scenario of Russia in the Crimea.

“The Russian Federation sends special units to the East of our country that conduct armed seizure of the administrative buildings and threaten lives of hundreds of thousands of our citizens,” he said explaining that the situation is different from that in the Crimea “because the majority of people do not want to support separatists”.

The Chairman of the Parliament informed that a large-scale counterterrorist operation has begun in order to protect civil population of our country.

“Ukrainian citizens ask the government to protect them from terrorism and armed criminals. We cannot leave our citizens alone with armed terrorists who threaten their life and health and try to tear our country to pieces,” he said.

At the same time, O. Turchynov emphasized that the government “takes measures that must stabilize the situation in the region”.

Particularly, it goes about the reformation of legislation in the context of decentralization of power.

“It goes about significant broadening of territorial communities’ powers, formation of executive bodies by local councils and expanding material resources of local government,” he said.

He stressed that the government is willing to cooperate with public representatives from all regions of Ukraine in order to establish a constructive dialogue with everyone, “but we will fight back terrorism and Russian aggression”.

Russia on Monday again denied any involvement in fomenting the unrest in eastern Ukraine, while a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin told Interfax that he was “receiving many appeals from eastern Ukraine… calling on him to help in some form,” reported the BBC.

[Featured image: YouTube video]


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moonstone716 | April 14, 2014 at 5:58 pm

Buzzing a warship? Didn’t Obama warn Putin not to act “so 80’s”?

Obama has made us into wusses and now bullies are pants-ing us in the hallway.

Boy, we had a full colonel respond. We are toughening up.

Henry Hawkins | April 14, 2014 at 6:27 pm

I see several Stern Words coming Putin’s way. THEN he’ll wish he hadn’t started all this.

Unprofessional? Seriously?

This is what you get when you vote for Pajama Boys to run the government.

I am disgusted.

    Bigurn in reply to Sanddog. | April 15, 2014 at 8:29 am

    My thoughts exactly, when I read the article. “I will destroy you!” “Why, sir, I shall write a strongly worded letter to your superiors!”

    This is the difference in our two country’s approach to this. We think we can engage worldwide opinion against Putin’s Russia, and Putin’s doesn’t give a rat’s a$$ about worldwide opinion.

    We needed the Colonel to say something like “the pilot did not engage the warship, which saved the pilot’s life”.

It’s about time that Obama did something decisive in this situation.

Perhaps he should go to Moscow and apologize to Putin and the Russians? Maybe give them copies of American missile defense plans? Something to appease and soothe these big angry Russians! /sarc ROFL

Doug Wright Old Grouchy | April 14, 2014 at 7:21 pm

Secretary J. F. Kerry should get with FM Lavrov and sign, quickly, the Articles of Capitulation before the situation escalates and become serious.

Actually, I’m much more concerned about the future status of Brighton Beach, and Silicon Valley, than Ukraine!

The protestors should stage a counter-coup, then reconcile their differences in a constitutional convention. Why grant greater legitimacy to a coup than the original democratically elected government?

As for the American presence, the Black Sea is in Russia’s backyard. They probably welcome our presence as much as we would welcome their presence in the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes, or Hudson Bay.

Anyway, Libya was a surprise; Syria is a mess; Ukraine is a Western-made conflict in progress.

I am sure some Russian pilot got the thrill of a lifetime, somewhat mitigated because the US Navy is famously well-disciplined.

Our warships’ defenses are geared more toward airplanes and missiles than satellites.

    snopercod in reply to Valerie. | April 14, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    the US Navy is famously well-disciplined.

    You mean like the time the Captain of the USS Cole allowed a rubber boat full of explosives to approach his ship and blow a hole in the hull?

    Bigurn in reply to Valerie. | April 15, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Val, the Arleigh Burke class of destroyers are exactly designed for this role. They are larger, better armed, and generally more capable than any destroyer class in history. They are really miniature Cruisers, based on armament and force deployment.

    There was a comment back in the day, that suggested that the AB destroyers deployed as much firepower as the Iowa-class battleships, at approximately 20% of the operating cost. This is a huge statement about its capability, if even close to being true. It kinda broke my heart, but progress is progress.

    Finally, the Aegis systems can be tasked to work together or independently. When together, they are a formidable screening force. My guess is that the ship lit that plane up and made it clear that 1000 meters is nothing. The CWIS alone could down the fighter in a few seconds (which would be fun to see).

This is how wars are started – one jackass doing something stupid.

BannedbytheGuardian | April 14, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Kiev has no control in east Ukraine. The Head of the security in Kiev has been sacked which makes the reporting of the Alpha Units refusing to fight against Easterners credible. Looks like they are desperately tryin to find some units .

The stuff about the warship being buzzed by a Russian plane is just pathetic. The trauma of it was just too much & now it has gone off to sulk in a Romanian port. I bet the sailors are really really looking forward to shore leave , getting vd from peasant prostitues & gypsies stealing their pants . Not .

The Daily Mail has the best pics . That is some pretty cool camo outfits , can anyone recognise the pattern ? As I thought there definitely. are small organised groups ( ex Berkutt / Alpha .) in the smaller towns . Alternatively some of the former Russo- Ukrainian special forces?


      BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Valerie. | April 15, 2014 at 1:18 am

      You. may be right . Kiev Parliament & its monkeys could have no idea about these units . US Congress likewise has no idea about the secretive units operating within the US defense system .

      As such they can’t disband them because they don’t know who they are. But they are legit Ukrainian forces . Apparently Interior Ministry forces are non compliant also.

      Hence that Presidential idiot ‘s appeal to UN peacekeeping . Yeah , as if. And by doing so ,he is relaying Kiev’s weakness.

Everyone knows NATO is not going to war over this, including Ukrainians.

    NATO is only responsible to defend member nations. Ukraine is not a member nation. Interestingly, Romania is……..

      Yes, but NATO members signed the Budapest agreement, so, technically, we should be defending Ukraine’s territorial integrity, particularly considering that we recognized the current government.

Henry Hawkins | April 14, 2014 at 10:21 pm

There will be no war. Obama has sanctioned fully .00067% of the Russian population, risking being lumped in with hawkish presidents like Reagan, Lincoln, and Washington – and he’s threatening to sanction even more. Obama’s bloodlust will send the Russian bear scampering off into the steppes in abject fear. Obama is scaring the hell out of me, even.


Buzzing them, ‘as close as 1000 meters’? Wow practically in their laps! I have military planes flying that low over my place nearly every day.

Tell me when they get to South Korean ‘scorching the deck’ level. Otherwise it doesn’t even reach the level of saber rattling. Tell me the US wouldn’t be concerned if Russia fomented a revolution in Mexico that installed an anti-American government then sent warships into the gulf of Mexico.

Right now everyone needs to take a step back. Does Obama really want another war right now? With Russia? In Ukraine? Will we really start WWIII?

    “Does Obama really want another war right now?” The question should be, “Does Obama finally know what’s he’s doing yet?” I’m thinking “No”. So we are in a heap of hurt.

I understand that Obama’s official position is that the flyover was the action of a lone wolf. A rogue operator. From Cincinnati.

PersonFromPorlock | April 15, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Meh. Back in the day, we traded gunfire with the Soviets on occasion, and they shot down our airliners. A little buzzing is just good clean fun.