A Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter on July 3 intercepted a Boeing P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft of the United States of America over the Crimea peninsula airspace. According to the Russian Defence Ministry, the Su-27 twin-engine supersonic fighter got airborne in the Southern Military District after the US Boeing P-8 Poseidon spy plane was tracked approaching towards Crimea peninsula from the Black Sea.
The US Boeing P-8A Poseidon was flying almost 80 kilometres (50 miles) from Crimea peninsula's Black Sea coast when the Su-27 intercepted the aircraft. Russia had annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014.
"A Su-27 fighter jet of the Air Force on duty in the Southern Military District was scrambled to intercept a target. The Russian fighter jet’s crew approached an aerial target at a safe distance, identifying it as a US reconnaissance plane P-8A Poseidon, which immediately changed the flight direction away from Russia’s state border," the Russian Defence Ministry was quoted as saying by TASS news agency.
The ministry added that the Su-27 jet observed international rules of using the airspace and after fulfilling the goal it returned to its airfield.
Russian government-funded RT news channel posted a video reportedly shot by the Su-27 pilot which showed the American P-8A Poseidon.
An American P-8A Poseidon had been intercepted by a Russian Sukhoi Su-35C fighter on June 4 too. The Su-35C jet had in fact intercepted the US plane thrice in less than three hours in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea. While the US Naval Forces Europe-Africa (US 6th Fleet) claimed the P-8A Poseidon was operating consistent with international law and did not provoke the Su-35C, the Russian Defence Ministry rejected the American stand that its jet had unsafely conducted the intercept of the US aircraft over the Mediterranean.
Russia had on June 17, too, claimed that US nuclear bombers were intercepted by its fighter jets when the former was trying to approach its border from the Black and Baltic Seas. The Russians scrambled Sukhoi Su-27 fighters to track and intercept the US B-52H strategic bombers, which can carry nuclear weapons after they allegedly came near the Russian border.