How should close-flying Russian planes be addressed?

A Russian Tu-95 Bomber being escorted by British forces in 2014. (Photo courtesy of U.K. Ministry of Defence)

Last week, Russian military planes flew near Alaska’s coast on four separate occasions. American military intercepted two of the flights and Canadian fighters joined their U.S. counterparts during the fourth intercept. All were legal, in international airspace and American military leaders have downplayed concern.

Heather Conley is the senior Vice President for Europe, Eurasia and the Arctic with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC. She said these Russian incursions are meant to test U.S. military readiness.

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Lori Townsend is the news director and senior host for Alaska Public Media. You can send her news tips and program ideas for Talk of Alaska and Alaska Insight at or call 907-550-8452.

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