Thirteen Russian aircraft and warships spotted near Latvian territory over last 24 hours

  • 2015-06-17
  • From wire reports and TBT staff, RIGA

The Latvian Armed Forces have confirmed over the 24 hours between June 16-17, five Russian military aircraft and four warships near Latvian waters and airspace. 

On the morning of June 16, NATO patrol jets found a Kashtan class SS-750 submarine rescue ship. 

During the afternoon, NATO patrols spotted an Ilyushin IL-20 reconnaissance aircraft, an Antonov A-50 transport plane, a Beriev A-50 early warning and control aircraft, plus two MiG-31 fighter jets flying close to Latvian airspace.

The night of June 16 saw NATO patrols discover a Kilo class submarine, a Parchim corvette and a Bira supply vessel 27 miles from Latvian waters. 

On June 17, two Tupolev TU-22M bombers were spotted, as were another two MiG-31s.

Since January 2015, the Russian military units operating near Latvian territory have been spotted 61 times so far. In 2014, a total of 250 were spotted, including 50 cases of Russian naval craft approaching the country’s borders. 

It is believed the Saber Strike joint military exercises taking place at present in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia between NATO troops and their allies, are the reason for the increased Russian military activity. 

The Saber Strike exercises began on June 8 and will finish on the 19th, with more more than 6,000 soldiers taking part.