The British Royal Air Force had to scramble fighter jets on Wednesday to intercept Russian fighters approaching its air space, according to the Associated Press.
Four Russian strategic bombers were “intercepted and escorted,” the force said, and at no time did any Russian planes enter British air space.
The British jets launched from British air force bases in Lossiemouth, northeast Scotland and were joined by a Voyager air-to-air refueling tanker launched from Oxfordshire, England.
A routine occurrence?
The operation appears to be a relatively routine one, and no further details were given by the UK about the occurrence.
Previously, the Royal Air Force has said that when Russian jets enter its policed zone of international air space, they are considered a possible hazard because they often don’t talk to air control.
A similar incident occurred in November 2021, when the British again scrambled jets to escort Russian fighters from the area.
The UK and other European nations are on heightened alert because the international community has a strong suspicion backed by intelligence that Russia plans to invade Ukraine sometime this month.
Will they invade?
At least 100,000 Russian troops are amassed on its border with Ukraine, and intelligence has revealed that if the Russians don’t invade soon, they risk getting their tanks stuck in thawing mud in the area.
And President Vladimir Putin has been all but emboldened by President Joe Biden, who insinuated in a recent press conference that the invasion was pretty much a sure thing and then said the U.S. might not do much about a “minor incursion.”
It seems more like a full-scale invasion is planned than a minor one, however, and it’s difficult to understand what Russia is trying to accomplish if they don’t intend to invade, as they continue to claim.
Former President Donald Trump sent Putin a warning about how his relationship with a future president could sour over his aggression, but it did not seem to have much of an effect on Putin’s plans.
Meanwhile, high alert will continue as Europe waits for Russia to take action, and the U.S. is sending troops to Eastern Europe to be on hand, although how far the U.S. will go to defend Ukraine and Eastern Europe is still unknown.