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U.S. Says Russian Military Jets Buzzed U.S. Ship In Black Sea

The U.S. guided-missile destroyer USS Porter
The U.S. guided-missile destroyer USS Porter

The U.S. military said on February 14 that multiple Russian military aircraft buzzed a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Black Sea last week in "unsafe and unprofessional" maneuvers.

They were the first such incidents reported during the Trump administration. Russia denied that they occurred.

Captain Danny Hernandez, a spokesman for U.S. European Command, cited three separate incidents on February 10 involving Russian aircraft and the USS Porter. Two involved Russian Su-24 jets and a third involved a larger IL-38.

"USS Porter queried all aircraft and received no response," Hernandez said. "Such incidents are concerning because they can result in accident or miscalculation."

The incidents involving the Su-24 were considered to be "unsafe and unprofessional" by the commanding officer of the Porter because of their high speed and low altitude, while the IL-38 flew at an unusually low altitude, Hernandez said.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said "There were no incidents of any kind on February 10 related to flights by Russian military jets in the Black Sea near the U.S. Navy destroyer Porter."

U.S. and European authorities reported several similar encounters with Russian aircraft last year.

Based on reporting by Reuters, Washington Free Beacon, and TASS

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