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Pictures showing the moment two Russian bombers were chased away from Britain by RAF fighter jets have been released. The aircraft, believed to be Tupolev Tu-95 Bears, were spotted near UK airspace on Wednesday, reports Sky News.
They were turned away off the coast of northeast Scotland by two Typhoon fighters scrambled from RAF Leuchars. Aircrew stationed at the base, near Dundee, are on standby to intercept unidentified aircraft at a moment's notice.
The images, released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), were taken by one of the RAF pilots as he flew alongside one of the Russian planes. Dutch fighter jets were also dispatched to escort the Russian planes away from their airspace.
Similar incidents happened near Britain eight times last year, according to a spokesman for the MoD. However, the latest interception comes amid heightened international tensions over the situation in Ukraine, following the annexation of Crimea by Russia last month.
The MoD spokesman said: "The Russian military aircraft remained in international airspace at all times as they are perfectly entitled to do. "Russian military flights have never entered UK sovereign airspace without authorisation."
The incident follows the arrival of a Russian warship, the Vice Admiral Kulakov, in waters off the coast of Britain. A MoD spokesman said the vessel was met by the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Dragon, which is "keeping an eye" on the ship's movements.