The determination of the BBC to make the British populace worry about the ‘Russian bogeyman’ shows no sign of abating. As part of this determination, on the evening of 17 February, the corporation’s website ran a complete non-story about Russian bombers flying near British airspace.
Summing up the details of the incident in question, here is what happened; –
- The Ministry of Defence announced that two Russian bombers were flying somewhere close to British airspace.
- The Royal Air Force launched two Typhoon jets from its base in Coningsby to intercept the Russian aircraft.
- The two Typhoons escorted the Russian bombers away from British airspace.
- That is pretty much it.
There is no reason to assume the story is untrue, but there is absolutely nothing significant about it. This is partially admitted in the BBC’s article, where it offers a quote from the RAF:
An RAF spokesman said the situation was ‘on-going’ and was not uncommon.
This was rather underlined by a later sentence in the article:
The RAF has intercepted Russian military planes six times in the past 12 months.
Yes, this is the point. It may be worth keeping an eye on this sort of behaviour from Russia, but there is nothing remotely unusual about it. Some might argue that the frequency of this event is reason for concern, but the truth is quite the opposite. Defiant posturing has long been the norm for the Russian military. It happens all the time and nothing ever comes of it – nor will it here. The Russians are not going to open fire on the UK.
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