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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Tracks 100 Foreign Spy Planes a Month

Russia's air force spots and tracks more than 100 foreign spy planes around its borders every month, the air force chief was quoted as saying Thursday.

General Anatoly Kornukov told Interfax that air defence forces had sent up interceptors 30 times in the past year to chase off planes trying to violate Russian airspace. There were 10 cases when foreign planes breached air defences.

Each month up to 70 foreign military reconnaissance planes were tracked in Russia's Far East, up to 20 over the Arctic Barents Sea and up to 15 over the Baltic Sea, he said.

During the Cold War, aircraft from both sides regularly flew missions to test defences. That practice tailed off after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 but still continues.

Last month, the Pentagon said Russian Tu-95 bombers had been moved to the Far North with a view to testing U.S. air defences. But Kornukov later denied this, saying the crews were taking advantage of fresh fuel supplies to train in Arctic conditions.