A Russian fighter jet speeded up towards the Norwegian border town of Kirkenes and made a sharp and provocative turn in front of the border before it disappeared back to the east on the Kola Peninsula.
The Russian fighter jet was very visible in the blue skies over Kirkenes earlier this week. Barents Observer took this photo from central Kirkenes of the trails of the condensation cloud only minutes after the incident last Monday afternoon.As the photo shows, the pilot of the fighter jet made a sharp 180 degree turn in high altitude near the border before returning.
Before the break-up of the Soviet Union, such military aircraft activity was more or less normal close to the Norwegian border. Especially from the Pasvik and Jarfjord areas in eastern Finnmark people could see the trails from jet fighters exercises on the Kola Peninsula. But after the Cold War, this fighter jet activities in the border areas was halted. Until now.
The nearest airbase for fighter jets on the Russian side of the border is Kilp’yavr, 30 kilometer northwest of Murmansk. At this airbase, both SU-27, MiG-23 and MiG-19 aircrafts are based. But the jet fighter visible over Kirkenes on Monday could as well come from some of the other airbases on the Kola Peninsula.
Asked by BarentsObserver, the North Norwegian Military Command confirms that the aircraft visible over Kirkenes was a Russian jet fighter.
- At the nearest, it was 60 kilometres from Kirkenes, says John Espen Lien, information officer at the North Norwegian Military Command in Bodø. No further comments was given.