23:30 GMT16 June 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Foreign spy planes were appearing over the Black Sea 40 percent more often in 2020 than the year before, the chief of the Russian General Staff's Main Operational Directorate said Friday.

    "The number of [foreign] reconnaissance flights in the Black Sea region increased by 40 percent compared to last year," Col. Gen. Sergey Rudskoy said.

    Thus, 27 Russian fighter jets were scrambled to protect the airspace over the Black and Azov seas in September, and anti-aircraft missile systems were put on combat alert, Rudskoy added.

    The flights next to the Crimean Bridge increased by 61 percent, Rudskoy said.

    The Russian Armed Forces detected 44 foreign jets that were engaged in reconnaissance activities close to Russia’s airspace last week, the military’s official newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda reported on Friday.

    The period of stay for NATO warships in the Black Sea has also increased by nearly one third in 2020, compared to 2019, the official said.

    military, Black Sea, spy plane, Russia
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