The European Leadership Network (ELN) found that more than 40 ‘close military encounters’ occurred between the Russians and other NATO countries in the past eight months. It has also revealed that many of the military operations the Russian air force are currently deploying are potentially incendiary and often seem to be focused on intimidation or taunting other countries, in particular the US.
A selection of the incidents included the following:
3rd March 2014
A Scandinavian Airlines Boeing 737 passenger airliner took off from Copenhagen Airport in Denmark with 132 passengers onboard. It came within just 90 metres of a Russian spy plane which was not transmitting its whereabouts in the sky so close to a major airport.
8th September 2014
Russian bombers were monitored as they performed military practice exercise which are believed to have been simulations of cruise missile strikes on the US. These were performed over sea just off Canada, pretty close to US territory.
17th September 2014
Two bombers violated Swedish airspace, prompting the Foreign Minister to declare the event as the most serious incursion seen aerially in the country for many years.
10th October 2014
The Russians then followed up their taunting of Sweden with a second event. They allegedly sent a submarine into Swedish waters, prompting the largest anti-submarine search and operation since Cold War times. The search turned up nothing, and it remains a mystery, although the Swedes promised to use force if necessary, suggesting they are growing tired of the repeated posturing from a country essentially in turmoil.
17th October 2014
The RAF is forced to scramble two fighter jets to intercept a couple of Russian bombers flying close to British air space. Over 100 examples of European interceptions of Russian air craft have occurred on 2014. This is three times the amount seen in 2013.
Russian Economy Crisis
Despite the Ruble’s value hitting rock bottom and the Russian economy being on its knees, Vladimir Putin somehow has managed to increase his country’s spending on the military by double in the last 10 years.
With all the sanctions imposed on the Russians since they allegedly decided to blow a passenger liner out of the air above the Ukraine, there is not seen as being much of a solution to the ongoing conflict.
Russia will continue to offer a military threat, while the EU and US refuse to lift sanctions. The thoughts are that a new Cold War could be on the horizon. The World is currently an extremely tense place.
Conflicts are on the brink of beginning in areas of China and North Korea, which when combined with the ongoing Islamic State situation in Iraq and Syria, the Russian/Ukraine conflict, and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, makes for even the most optimistic individual to be concerned about exactly what is going on at the moment.