NATO detected and monitored four groups of Russian military aircraft, conducting significant military maneuvers in European airspace on October 28 and 29, 2014. These sizable Russian flights took place over the Baltic Sea, North Sea/Atlantic Ocean and Black Sea. These activities represent an unusual level of air activity over European airspace. Fighter aircraft from Norway, Britain, Portugal, Germany and Turkey were scrambled in response.
Tensions between Russia and NATO countries have soared over the Ukraine crisis. Russia initially denied that its military played a part in the unlawful annexation of Crimea. Putin later admitted that the Russian military did indeed participate in the incursion. Similar denials are now being uttered with respect to Russia’s Hamas-like activities in Ukraine, while the deaths of Russian soldiers are being willfully concealed. As the West continues to press on with sanctions against Russia, the wounded bear is attempting to assert its might with military maneuvers.