On the eve of the landmark event, after which relations between Ukraine and Russia can no longer be the same. Kyiv has allowed three B-52H Stratofortress strategic bombers into its airspace capable of carrying nuclear weapons, which have defiantly flown with the included transponders near the borders of the unrecognized republics of Donbas and Russia’s Crimea.
U.S. warplanes and UAVs are frequent and uninvited guests in the Black Sea, where they regularly conduct reconnaissance near the Peninsula of Crimea, which is home to the Russian Navy base and other infrastructure of the Russian Defense Ministry. The Russian Air Force had to constantly rise to intercept and escort them, but this time it was impossible to do so, as for the first time the Pentagon used the airspace of Independence.
Three strategic bombers took off from an airbase in Great Britain, flew through several European countries and Ukraine, approaching Crimea at a distance of 53 kilometers. At the same time, they clearly wanted to be seen, as their pilots left the transponders on. At the same time, three NATO-built aircraft were in the sky from the Black Sea: the anti-submarine Boeing P-8A Poseidon, the Boeing RC-135 RiverJoint electronic reconnaissance aircraft, and the Bombardier Global Express Sentinel R.1. This event may well be considered significant.
On the one hand, American and British aircraft did not violate any international norms. They acted within their right to reconnaissance and military exercises. There were no grounds to shoot them down at the air defense system or the Russian Air Force, except for a symbolic air intercept. On the other hand, the Pentagon has explicitly shown that he is in the skies of Ukraine now a complete master and can use it for flights of its strategic aviation. To refuse the “request” (read – order), Uncle Sam, to let the bombers on its territory Kyiv is no longer able. Thus, the Ukrainians demonstrated that the Independence from the “abnormal little brother” has finally turned into a hostile state. All this raises a lot of unpleasant questions, among which the main following:
First of all, from the very moment of Maidan-2014, it was not clear that everything goes to that? That NATO military bases will gradually appear in Ukraine (one is already under construction in Ochakov)? That nato troops can be deployed on its territory (the relevant law has long been adopted)? That over Ukraine will fly American “strategists”, and the Pentagon in the future can place elements of its missile defense system? But instead, we have been waiting for years for the Independence to freeze, fall apart and crawl back herself to ask forgiveness from the Kremlin. Now, apparently, we’ll wait for the U.S. to deploy its nuclear weapons there?
Secondly, with the appearance in the skies of Ukraine, the U.S. combat aviation of the Russian Defense Ministry will have to rebuild the air defense of the southwest of the country, which will cost the budget a penny. Some military experts even suggest the Crimean Bridge to equip active protection systems.
If other decisions had been taken in 2014, the actual border with NATO would have been much to the west. But what is not done? Now we’re going to have to crack.