Russian military fighter jets flew dangerously close to US Naval Destroyer USS Donald Cook on Monday, April 11th, 2016. As the US Navy vessel was leaving the nothern Poland port of Gdynia, approaching the Kaliningrad Oblast (which is not a part of mainland Russia, but is part of the Russian Federation) the Russian jets and one helicopter did a series of about 30 passes by the Naval Destroyer. One of the passes was so low to the water’s surface, that it actually created a wake in the water. The maneuvers are currently seen as the most provocative since the Cold War days.
The maneuvers are also seen as a show of aggression, but not necessarily a sign of aggression. Meaning, there doesn’t seem to be any immediate threat, but they do appear to be sending a warning. USS Donald Cook was in international waters at the time, but they were very close to Russian territory, about 70 nautical miles to be exact. The Russian Federation could simply be sending a “back off” message with it’s military, or it could simply be a show of strength and force. Possibly even testing the US military to see how they would react.
There have been other instances of similar things happening between the US and Russia, but nothing to this magnitude in recent years. Monday’s incident has also been compared to the Iranian territorial waters incident when smaller Naval boats were seized by the Iranian national guard after allegedly running aground Farsi Island in the Persian gulf, during a trip from Bahran to Kuwait. Although not the same, as no one on the USS Donald Cook was contacted at all by the Russians, one thing’s for sure, this won’t be the last time we see acts of aggression or strong-man posturing from the world’s leading nations against one another.
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