A Russian fighter jet provocatively engaged the USS Donald Cook over the weekend, according to the Pentagon. On Saturday, a Russian military jet flew provocatively close to a U.S. Navy ship in the Black Sea. The plane flew within several thousand feet of the ship, despite repeated warnings to the aircraft sent over the radio. The U.S. ship was in international waters at the time it happened.
The crisis in Ukraine took on even more of a Cold War-era feel Monday when a Russian warplane made nearly a dozen low passes over a U.S. destroyer that was sailing in the Black Sea.
Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, calls the Russian flybys “provocative and unprofessional,” NPR’s Tom Bowman reports.
According to the Pentagon, the Russian SU-24 attack aircraft came within several thousand feet of the USS Donald Cook and ignored multiple radio warnings from the ship.
The Russian aircraft did not appear to be carrying bombs or missiles. Warren said another SU-24 was flying high above.
The incident reportedly lasted about 90 minutes. The Donald Cook was in international waters, the Pentagon reports.
the U.S. ship “did not go to battle stations.”
Ukraine borders the Black Sea on the north. Russia borders that body of water on the east. The Crimean peninsula extends from Ukraine into the Black Sea. Last month, after the collapse of Ukraine’s pro-Russia government, Russian troops moved into Crimea. Soon after that, — over the protests of Ukraine, the U.S. and many Western nations.
As , pro-Russia gunmen continue to occupy many government buildings in eastern Ukraine — despite warnings from the Ukrainian government that it will use force, if necessary, to remove them. With tens of thousands of his troops just across the border, there are fears that Russian President Vladimir Putin may send troops into eastern Ukraine.
On Monday, Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov has asked U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to into eastern Ukraine with Ukrainian troops.