US spy plane sighted over Ukraine “for the first time” amid fears Russia could take advantage of holidays to break into neighbors
A US spy plane was spotted “for the first time” over Ukraine as fears grew that Russia might use the holidays to invade the neighboring country.
The E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft was seen in the Eastern European skies on December 27 as the crisis in Ukraine escalated.
It comes amid growing concerns that Vladimir Putin plans to invade the neighboring country in early 2022, as more than 175,000 Russian soldiers are believed to have been discovered at the border.
But the US hit back at the bullying powerhouse, insisting that if Putin did something, it could “devastate” Russia with nuclear weapons.
Tensions have now skyrocketed as the warring countries keep an eye on each other with cutting edge equipment.
The US E-8C JStar, which was photographed in Ukrainian airspace on Monday, can collect and display detailed information from the ground.
Updates are delivered in real time to Army and Marine Corps stations, as well as other intelligence officials.
The state-of-the-art technology allows the E-8C’s antenna to be tilted to either side of the aircraft for a 120-degree field of view.
It can see targets at an altitude of more than 820,000 feet and has a view of nearly 20,000 square miles.
Helicopters, rotating antennas and low, slow-flying fixed-wing aircraft can also occasionally be detected by high-tech radar.
The plane has proven to be a successful surveillance method for the US over the years and could signal its increasingly volatile relationship with Russia in view of the turning point of the crisis in Ukraine.
Many have questioned Vladimir Putin’s possible motives and whether he intends to strike while the world celebrates Christmas.
He previously threatened a âmilitary-technicalâ reaction if the West did not stop being âaggressiveâ.
Isabel Sawkins, a Henry Jackson Society research fellow, told The Sun that Putin may step up war games and rhetoric while the West is “distracted” over the holidays.
She said: âRussia doesn’t celebrate Christmas at the same time as the West because they work on a slightly different calendar.
“So Moscow will go about its business as usual for the next few weeks.
“We can only hope that Putin doesn’t sneak in and cause even more damage while people in the West celebrate Christmas with their families and loved ones.”
However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today that Washington-Moscow talks will resume after the end of the Russian holiday season.
He also revealed that the country plans to involve the military in NATO negotiations after destroying the Western security alliance.
Sawkins added that the current political climate in Europe created an “opportune” moment for Putin to escalate the rhetoric.
She suggested that the US was preoccupied with Covid, the events in the Pacific region and the aftermath of the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, which would allow Russia to âslip through the netâ.
Moscow attacked the US for interfering in affairs on Russia’s “doorstep” and said they would not sit back and stand idly by.
Russia claimed in early December that its fighter jets had intercepted another US spy plane over the Black Sea.
Washington is believed to have sent the plane out to monitor Russian forces gathering along the border as fears of possible conflict peak.
The heads of state and government of the EU have joined forces with the US and announced that they will impose sanctions against the entry of Russian troops into Ukraine.
US intelligence reportedly fears Russia is preparing for a “massive offensive” against Ukraine that will test the determination of the West.
Kiev’s allies have always pledged to support them, but intervention against Russia could spark a conflict that could erupt into World War III.
Terrifying reports suggest that Russia, fearing a colossal conflict, has approved plans for “urgent mass graves”.
Russian news agency MK says the burial sites were prioritized after allegedly appearing in leaked legal documents expected to go into effect on Feb.1.
The burial grounds would reportedly house 100 bodies each and be used in conjunction with solder cremation facilities.