U.S. Navy photo

For Your Enjoyment — Russia’s Warship-Buzzing Greatest Hits

U.S. Navy releases ship-harassment compilation video


The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Donald Cook’s home port is Rota, Spain, but the 505-foot warship spends a lot of her time in the Baltic Sea, a flashpoint region in NATO’s escalating stand-off with an increasingly belligerent Russia.

And for that reason, Donald Cook is a favorite target of Russian harassment. Now the U.S. Navy has helpfully released, via The Virginian-Pilot newspaper, a compilation video of some of the recent Russian antics.

On April 11 and 12, 2016, Donald Cook was sailing in international waters in the Baltic Sea when a Russian Ka-27 helicopter and two pairs of Su-24 bombers repeatedly buzzed the missile-armed ship.

“Oh my God,” one sailor exclaims as the swing-wing Su-24s fly low and close to the American vessel.

“We have deep concerns about the unsafe and unprofessional Russian flight maneuvers,” U.S. European Command said in a statement. “These actions have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions between countries, and could result in a miscalculation or accident that could cause serious injury or death.”

Donald Cook might be Russia’s favorite target, but she’s hardly the only one. The Russians also love to pester U.S. Air Force RC-135 spy planes.

In July 2014, an RC-135 fled into Swedish air space to avoid aggressive Russian fighter jets. In April 2015, one of Moscow’s Su-27 fighters nearly slammed into one of the four-engine U.S. spy planes over the Baltic.

And on April 14 and 29, 2016, Su-27s flew reckless maneuvers in dangerously close proximity to an RC-135, again over the Baltic. The Russian jets reportedly performed Top Gun-style barrel rolls over the American planes.

We’re still hoping for video of those incidents.