Russia flies two strategic bombers near Alaska

The flights came a day after President Vladimir Putin complained of Western flights near Russian airspace.

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A North American Aerospace Defense Command F-22 Raptor flies next to a Russian Tu-95 strategic bomber during an intercept in June 2020 in the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone. Two Tu-95 aircraft flew a mission near Alaska this week, Russia’s defense ministry said. (NORAD file photo)

MOSCOW — Two Russian Tu-95 strategic bombers made a scheduled, 10-hour flight over neutral waters near Alaska, Russia’s defense ministry said on Friday, a day after President Vladimir Putin complained of western military flights near Russian airspace.

Putin said Western strategic bombers carrying “very serious weapons” were flying within 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) of Russia’s borders, in a speech in which he said the West was taking Russia’s warnings not to cross its “red lines” too lightly.

[NORAD fighter jets intercept Russian military aircraft off Alaska]

“Two Tu-95MS long-range strategic missile carriers conducted a planned flight in the airspace above the neutral waters of the Bering Strait, the Chukchi Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk,” the ministry said in a statement published by news agencies.

Already poor relations between Washington and Moscow have worsened further in recent weeks, with the United States accusing Russia of threatening behavior towards Ukraine and Russia complaining about what it sees as provocative U.S. warship maneuvers in the Black Sea.

Reporting by Maxim Rodionov; Writing by Alexander Marrow.