For the first time in nearly three months, Russia flew nuclear-capable “Bear” bombers near Japan, Wednesday, the latest sign of increasing tensions in the region, two US officials tell Fox News.
The officials said three Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers took off from a base in eastern Russia flying in the Sea of Japan and remained in international airspace.
One U.S. official described the Russian bomber flight as “clearly meant to send a message.”
This latest provocation from Russia comes as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits Moscow, Wednesday, the first visit by a cabinet member to Russia since President Trump assumed office.
Joining the three Russian long-range bombers was a IL-20 spy plane.
The Russian bombers took off Wednesday from an air base in Ukrainka in eastern Russia, home to one of Russia’s largest fleet of strategic bombers.
In late January, a pair of Russian bombers circumnavigated Japan for the first time in a year.
On July 4, 2015, Russian bombers flew 40 miles off the coast of California on the same day President Vladimir Putin called President Obama to wish him a happy Independence Day.