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Monday, January 28, 2008

The Battle of Britain, Part II

The Daily Mirror reports:

Fighter jets were scrambled to intercept two Russian bombers as they headed for British airspace yesterday. Tornados and F-16 jets escorted the long-range Tu-160s bombers south towards the Bay of Biscay where Russia is staging its biggest military exercise since the Soviet era. Their navy is currently test-firing missiles from warships there in a show of strength by President Putin before the presidential election.

The MoD said it was a "routine" response but angry Foreign Secretary David Miliband added: "Russia's action is reminiscent of the Cold War."

The incident reflects the rise in tension between the countries after the murder in London of ex-KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko. Last week the Government was forced to close the British Council offices in Russia after a "campaign of intimidation" against staff.

Dare we wonder how Russians would respond if a British bomber behaved in this way? It's barbarism, pure and simple. The act of a savage nation, and the fact that Mr. Putin dares to complain that people think of his nation that way, whilst he continues to order these provocations, is bizarre and thoroughly neo-Soviet.

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