April 14, 2016

Russia’s Iron-Fisted Bully Rattles U.S. Destroyer

Russian aircraft came in close proximity to Navy destroyer USS Donald Cook.

Earlier this week Russian aircraft — consisting of SU-24 fighter jets and a KA-27 helicopter — came in dangerously and purposely close proximity to the Navy destroyer USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea. The provocations, which occurred on Monday and Tuesday, were captured on video. The jets made nearly three dozen rounds — one even came as close as 30 feet — while the helicopter photographed the destroyer. According to the fleet, the Russian pilots disregarded numerous communication attempts.

The U.S. European Command responded, “We have deep concerns about the unsafe and unprofessional Russian flight maneuvers. These actions have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions between countries, and could result in a miscalculation or accident that could cause serious injury or death. U.S. officials are using existing diplomatic channels to address the interactions, while the incidents are also being reviewed through U.S. Navy channels.”

Meanwhile, Russia says the ordeal is much ado about nothing. Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Defense spokesman, laughably claimed, “[U]pon visual contact, the Russian pilots have executed a turnaway from the ship, compliant to all safety regulations.” He added, “To be honest, we don’t understand such a painful reaction from our American colleagues.”

Recall that Turkey recently downed a Russian jet intruding on Turkish airspace, and Vladimir Putin hasn’t overflown the country since. A proper response would be to set a one-mile safe zone and shoot down any Russian jet in the area. Not only would it send a strong message, it might even stop Putin from playing his foes like a piano.

So much for Hillary Clinton’s reset.

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