RUSSIA has claimed to have “intercepted” a British spy plane as it reportedly crossed Putin’s borders close to hypersonic missile bases.
They claim the British RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft had “illegally crossed Russia’s state border” by breaching the northern territory.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the Brit plane was “intercepted” over the Barents Sea, near the main base of the Navy’s Northern Fleet.
It allegedly flew into the airspace close to the remote Cape Svyatoy Nos in the Murmansk region before being tackled by a fighter jet.
The coastline of the region is home to the headquarters of Russia’s Northern Fleet, as well as multiple secret military bases and facilities.
A map showed the purported route of the RC-135 reconnaissance plane to the Arctic from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire.
State media interrupted news bulletins to flash the alleged British incursion on TV channels, while describing the alleged intrusion as “radioelectronic warfare aircraft”.
Footage of the moment the British spy plane is said to have crossed the border was not immediately shared by the nation.
Instead it highlighted a video of an evidently unrelated MiG-31BM and Su-34 drill from Perm region.
Rossiya 1 channel announced: “Now an urgent report from the Ministry of Defence.
“A British RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft violated the state border of Russia over the Barents Sea.
“Air defence crews on duty detected an unknown air target.
“A MiG-31BM fighter was scrambled to intercept it. Its crew drove the intruder out of our airspace in the area of Cape Svyatoy Nos.”
Pro-Putin politicians quickly urged the Kremlin to hit back with a “harsh” response for teetering too close to its top-secret bases.
‘VIOLATED’ RUSSIAN BORDER
MP Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the international committee of the Russian lower house of parliament and leader of the ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), said: “A reconnaissance aircraft violated Russia’s state border near Cape Svyatoy Nos.
“It looks like those who issue such absurd and provocative orders have forgotten how a British destroyer intruded into Russia’s territorial waters to be stopped by our border guards.
“The inviolability of Russian borders is a fundamental principle, which should not be tested.
“I am convinced that a response to any intrusions will be adequately harsh.”
Russian reports said it was rare for NATO planes to “breach” Russian air space.
Moscow has previously accused Britain of breaching its territory when this was disputed by the UK Defence Ministry.
No concrete evidence of an aerial border breach was initially provided by the Russians.
RAF jets similarly rushed to intercept four of Putin’s nuclear bombers off the Scottish coast in February, just days before Ukraine was invaded.