On Wednesday, the U.S. Navy released video of Russian fighter jets and a helicopter buzzing a U.S. destroyer in the Baltic Sea in mid-April.
The incidents occurred between April 11 and 12 and were first documented by the Navy through small video clips and photos previously. Under the Freedom of Information Act, a request by the Virginia Plot newspaper was filed to make the video public.
Recently there have been tensions between the United States and Russia over Russia’s interest in the Baltic Sea. This encounter is one of the more recent ones between the two countries.
In the video, two Russian Sukhoi SU-24 fighter jets and a Russian KA-27 Helix helicopter can be seen buzzing the USS Donald Cook.
Similarly, last year, two SU-24 fighter jets flew close to the USS Donald Cook. In 2014, Russian fighter jets also made low passes near the USS Ross. More recently, a Russian jet flew within 50 feet of a United States aircraft and a Russian Sukhoi SU-27 completed a barrel roll over a United States Boeing RC-135.
“We have deep concerns about the unsafe and unprofessional Russian flight maneuvers,” the Navy said in in a statement on April 13.“These actions have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions between countries and could result in a miscalculation or accident that could cause serious injury or death.”
In the video, someone can be heard saying “Oh my God” as one of the jets flies past it at an incredibly close distance.
“I don’t think the Russians are trying to provoke an incident,” Navy Adm. John M. Richardson told reporters at the Pentagon earlier this month. “I think they’re trying to send a signal. I think it’s pretty clear that they are wanting to let us know that they see that we are up there in the Baltic.”
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the jets “performed strictly in accordance with the international regulations on the use of airspace.”