Russian MiG fighter jet intercepts two US supersonic bombers as Putin’s forces accuse them of ‘heading for border’

RUSSIA has claimed one of its fighter jets intercepted a pair of US supersonic bombers.

Vladimir Putin’s defence ministry accused the Americans for flying their aircraft towards the Russian border over the Barents Sea.

APPutin deployed a MiG-31 ‘Foxhound’ to intercept the US bombers[/caption]

EPAB-1B ‘Lancer’ bombers are massive supersonic jets[/caption]

The sea is located north of Russia and Nato member states, Norway, Finland and Sweden.

US officials have not yet commented on the clash in the skies.

It is the latest tense clash in the skies between the West and Russia.

Nato has recently been carrying out drills in the Barents Sea as part of training mission “Nordic Response”.

And it came as Putin’s nation marked a day of national mourning after 133 people were killed in a terror attack.

B-1B “Lancer” bombers have been in service since the final days of the Cold War.

They can carry 75,000lbs of pounds – and used to be capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

The enormous 146ft jets are some of the largest supersonic warplanes ever made.

Meanwhile, the MiG-31 “Foxhound is a much smaller fighter jet designed intercept missiles and bombers.

The planes can hit speeds of up to 1,900mph with two large afterburners.

And they can be armed with a range of missiles – including Putin’s fearsome hypersonic “Daggers”.

Tensions remain at levels not seen since the Cold War between the West and Russia.

Both sides are at loggerheads over Putin’s illegal and brutal invasion of Ukraine.

Fears continue to grow that the conflict could spill over and draw in Nato.

In a statement, the Russians said: “On March 24, Russian means of airspace control over the Barents Sea detected a group air target approaching the state border of the Russian Federation.

“To identify the air target and prevent violation of the state border of the Russian Federation, a MiG-31 fighter from the air defense forces on duty was scrambled into the air.

“The crew of the Russian fighter identified the aerial target as a pair of US Air Force B-1B strategic bombers.”

They claimed as the MiG-31 approached the supersonic jets then banked away and “turned around”.

The statement continued: “The Russian plane returned safely to its home airfield, no violation of the state border of the Russian Federation was allowed.

“The flight of the Russian fighter was carried out in strict accordance with international rules for the use of airspace over neutral waters in compliance with security measures.”

It comes as a vengeful Putin blitzed Ukraine with 57 missiles and drones – unleashing a third night of terror in a row on the war-torn country.

Poland’s armed forces said one of Russia’s cruise missiles “violated” their airspace and have demanded an explanation in a dramatic escalation between Moscow and Nato.

US Ambassador Bridget Brink said early today: “For the third pre-dawn morning this week, all of Ukraine is under an air alert and has been advised to seek shelter.

“Russia continues to indiscriminately launch drones and missiles with no regard for millions of civilians, violating international law.”

The newest strikes on Kyiv could be seen as a revenge-fuelled response to the unfounded claims being spewed by Russian officials that link Ukraine to the terror attack in Moscow.

Despite an ISIS splinter cell taking responsibility for the concert hall slaughter, Putin has been attempting to shift the blame onto Kyiv.

Ukraine has denied any involvement in the rampage – and called the claims “absurd”.

Last last night, Zelensky said it was “absolutely predictable” that Putin would seize the moment of national horror to point the figure at Ukraine.

“What happened yesterday in Moscow is obviously something that Putin and other b*****ds are just trying to blame on someone else,” he said.

“That low-life Putin, instead of dealing with his Russian citizens, addressing them, was silent for a day, thinking about how to bring it to Ukraine.

“Everything is absolutely predictable.”

Today has been declared a national day of mourning in Russia as family and friends of those still missing wait for news of their loved ones.

At least 133 were killed, including children, when four gunmen stormed Crocus City Hall on Friday night and opened fire on the crowd before setting the venue ablaze.

Russian officials expect the death toll to rise further, with more than 100 wounded in hospital.

Meanwhile, Ukraine blitzed two Russian warships during Storm Shadow missiles strikes on occupied Crimea

Dramatic footage shows the moment military bases in the port city of Sevastopol – the ex-HQ of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet – were targeted in an overnight barrage.

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