As the international community continues to fear the looming possibility of World War III, Russia appears to be reveling in the attention…despite its negative context.
This has been the M.O. of the Kremlin for some time, with Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin seemingly fancying himself as some sort of Bond villain-esque figure, capable of Machiavellian results while still allegedly remaining cool, calm, and collected outwardly.
Now, as his war machine in Ukraine continues to falter, other pieces of Putin’s military are getting a little bit too close for the United States.
Two Air Force warplanes intercepted a pair of Russian bombers flying in international airspace near Alaska, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said Tuesday.
NORAD said it “detected, tracked, positively identified and intercepted” the two Russian Tu-95 Bear-H bombers “entering and operating within the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).” They were intercepted by a pair of F-16 fighter jets.
US officials did not want to raise any alarms, however.
“The recent Russian activity in the North American ADIZ is not seen as a threat nor is the activity seen as provocative,” NORAD said in a statement.
This has been a part of a pattern of poor behavior.
Last month, NORAD said it detected and tracked two Russian maritime patrol aircraft operating within the Alaskan and Canadian air defense identification zones.
The incident comes at a fraught period in American-Russian relations. The U.S. has actively supported Ukraine with humanitarian and military aid in its war against Russia, In addition, the Biden administration has slapped Moscow and Russian oligarchs with sanctions.
Putin’s antagonizing actions likely belie his desperation, however, as his Ukrainian offensive stalls and he’s been forced to reach out to countries such as Iran to keep the war effort afloat.