Vladimir Putin discusses possibility of third world war

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On Thursday, Moscow announced it had launched MiG-31 and Su-35 warplanes, after US B52-N strategic bombers were seen over the Bering Sea. The statement said the American aircraft didn’t violate Russian airspace.

It said: “Russian airspace control devices over the neutral waters of the Bering Sea detected three air targets approaching the state border of the Russian Federation.

“The state border of the Russian Federation was not violated.”

Moscow added its aircraft landed “safely at home” following the incident.

The Bering Sea separates the far-east of Russia from the US state of Alaska.

Video of the incident was released by the Russian Defence Ministry.

The footage, broadcast on TV channel Zvyozda, shows the Russian aircraft escorting their American counterparts.

It follows a similar incident on Tuesday when Russia claimed it launched a fighter jet to intercept a US spy plane over the Black Sea.

Russia’s National Defence Control Centre said its Su-30s “scrambled to identify the aerial target and prevent it from violating the Russian state border”.

They added: “The crew of the Russian fighter identified the aerial target as a U.S. Air Force EP-3E Aries electronic warfare and reconnaissance aircraft and shadowed it.”

On June 23 Russia said its warships and aircraft threatened to open fire on the Royal Navy’s HMS Defender, as it passed Crimea.

Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, and considers it to be sovereign territory.

However, the west refuses to accept this and still treats Crimea as Ukrainian.

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According to Russian accounts, their vessels fired warning shots, though this has been denied by the UK.

The BBC’s Jonathan Beale, who was on HMS Defender, said some firing did take place but some way from the British ship.

Following the incident Russian President, Putin accused the UK and US of staging a “complex provocation”.

A spokesperson for Boris Johnson said the British vessel was “conducting innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with international law”.

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The Dutch Navy accused Russian jets of harassing one of its warships, HNLMS Evertsen, in a separate incident.

They said: “Armed Russian military jets caused a dangerous situation in the Black Sea near HNLMS Evertsen last Thursday.

“The aircraft repeatedly flew dangerously low over and close to the ship and carried out mock attacks.

“HNLMS Evertsen was in international waters during these harassments.”

On Saturday Ukraine said one of its soldiers was killed, and three injured, during clashes with pro-Russian separatists in the east.

A Ukrainian position was reportedly targeted with artillery, grenades and machine gunfire.
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