WW3 crisis: Russian Navy carries out war games on same day Kremlin intercepts US spy plane

Russian military complete operational exercise in Pacific

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This week, the Russian Pacific Fleet carried out a military exercise in the Pacific Ocean that involved 20 warships and several ships. The drill was carried out on June 10 to practice responding to a simulated enemy attack.

A statement from the Russian Ministry of Defence confirmed the drill involved 20 warships including the Varyag missile cruiser.

This mammoth 186-metre missile cruiser comes equipped with the P-1000 Vulkan supersonic missile and S-300f Fort long-range surface-to-air missiles.

The drill also involved the long-range anti-submarine aircraft Tu-142mz and high-altitude fighter-interceptors MiG-31BM.

Footage from the drill shows off Russia’s air force, submarines and ships as they coordinated a search-and-destroy operation involving a simulated submarine attack.

However, tensions between Washington and Moscow reached boiling point as a US spy plane was intercepted for allegedly flying close to Russian air space in the far east of the country.

On the same day as the drill, Russia’s Eastern Military District reported they have intercepted an RC-135 strategic reconnaissance plane over the Pacific Ocean.

The Russian military said: “The crew of the Russian fighter identified the air target as a strategic reconnaissance aircraft RC-135 of the US Air Force and escorted it over the Pacific Ocean.”

They added: “After the foreign military aircraft was turned away from the state border of Russia, the Russian fighter returned safely to its home base.”

US President Joe Biden – who is currently in the UK for the G7 Summit – said they will “show the strength” of Washington’s alliances.

He told Sky News: “We will show the strength of our alliances and make it clear to [Vladimir] Putin and China that Europe and the United States are tight and ready to move.”

Later this month, Mr Biden will meet face-to-face with his Russian counterpart for the first time since he was inaugurated into the White House.

The summit in Switzerland will be held at the end of the US President’s visit to Europe and after he meets with American allies in NATO and the European Union.

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Mr Biden – who raised the prospect of a summit with Mr Putin earlier this year – previously expressed the important roles that personal relationships play in foreign policy.

The US President has been a vocal critic of Mr Putin and in February he was asked whether he thought the Russian president was a killer to which he replied: “I do.”

However, Mr Putin hit back at the remarks and said: “I remember in my childhood, when we argued in the courtyard with each other we used to say: ‘It takes one to know one’.

“And that’s not a coincidence, not just a children’s saying or joke.

“The psychological meaning here is very deep.

“We always see our own traits in other people and think they are like how we really are.

“And as a result, we assess (a person’s) activities and give assessments.”

Over recent months, Moscow has intercepted a number of US aircraft.

Last month, a Russian fighter jet intercepted a US aircraft over the Chukchi Sea, in the eastern border of Russia.

In April, Russia’s Defense Ministry released footage of a MiG-31 jet accompanying an RC-135 aircraft over the coast of Kamchatka in the far east of Russia.

Days earlier, a Russian MiG-31 fighter plane escorted the same kind of US reconnaissance aircraft over the Pacific Ocean.

Moscow has previously warned the increased reconnaissance activities near Russia posed a risk of rising tensions between the Kremlin and Washington amid concerns over a growing conflict in Ukraine.

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