Russia says its warplanes respected all safety rules when they buzzed a United States Navy destroyer in the Baltic Sea.
The Pentagon released dramatic video of the jets flying extremely close to the ship more than 30 times over two days. The Obama administration calls the “simulated attack” passes unsafe.
The U.S. will file a diplomatic protest, but Russia will have made its point; it resents the U.S. operating so close to Russian territory and intends to push back, reports CBS News correspondent David Martin.
The Russian planes raced by the U.S. Navy destroyer low and fast, over and over. Pictures taken from onboard the ship show just how dangerously close they came during some of their passes.
They were flying what the commander of the USS Donald Cook described as a “simulated attack profile,” although they carried no weapons under the wings — a total of 31 runs over two days.
On Monday, the Cook was preparing to conduct helicopter flight operations in the Baltic Sea, in international water 70 miles off the coast of the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.
Russian defense ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said Thursday the Su-24 fighter jet pilots saw the ship and then turned back “while using all measures of precaution.”