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Russia claims the flight from Tel Aviv to Moscow had to be diverted to avoid the crash of a NATO spy plane


A Russian plane carrying more than 140 people was forced to change course to avoid a collision with a NATO spy plane, and to avert disaster by meters, according to authorities in Moscow.

Russia’s transport officials claim the plane ‘rapidly landed’ across the planned route for the Tel Aviv-Moscow Aeroflot service with 142 passengers on board late Saturday over the Black Sea.

According to reports, the Airbus A330 had to lower its course by 500 meters (1,600 feet) to maintain a safe distance from the CL-600 Artemis, which pilots were able to see from the cockpit.

One report claimed that there were less than 20 meters (66 ft) vertical between the aircraft’s tracks.

According to reports, the Airbus A330 had to lower its course by 500 meters (1,600 feet) to maintain a safe distance from the CL-600 Artemis, which pilots were able to see from the cockpit.

One report claimed that there were less than 20 meters (66 ft) between the aircraft's tracks

One report claimed that there were less than 20 meters (66 ft) between the aircraft’s tracks

According to the Russian Transport Authority, a second plane, a private plane that was flying from Sochi to Skopje in North Macedonia, had to deviate from its course to avoid the planes.

On Friday, Russian media reported the deployment of combat aircraft to escort two American spy planes over the Black Sea region.

According to Russian reports, an air traffic controller said: “One of the two reconnaissance planes over the Black Sea chaotically crossed the civil aviation routes and approached the Airbus Tel Aviv-Moscow passenger plane.

The crew (on board the passenger plane) reported that the dangerous proximity alarm had gone off. There were less than 20 meters perpendicular between the planes.

The Aeroflot A330 (pictured) had to change course to avoid collision

The Aeroflot A330 (pictured) had to change course to avoid collision

The NATO spy plane was visible to pilots from a commercial flight over the Black Sea

The NATO spy plane was visible to pilots from a commercial flight over the Black Sea

An official at the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency added: “The directions and flight levels of civil aircraft were immediately changed.

“By the measures taken, Russian air traffic controllers ensured the safe operation of flights in the above area over the open waters of the Black Sea.”

The Russian Interfax news agency said: The violating plane did not respond to ground requests.

“The increased activity of NATO aircraft near Russia’s borders … creates the risk of serious accidents involving civilian aircraft,” he said, adding that he would lodge a diplomatic protest.

It is believed that the plane flew from an air base in Greece.

While the Federal Air Transport Agency did not specify which country operated the spy plane, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova indicated on Sunday that the reconnaissance plane was owned by the United States.

“The actions of the US Air Force have created a threat to civil aviation,” Zakharova said in the Telegram messaging app.

“If disaster is now averted in the airspace over the open waters of the Black Sea, this does not mean that the United States and NATO can continue to risk people’s lives with impunity.”

The Federal Air Transport Agency said it would file a diplomatic protest.

While the agency did not say which country operated the spy plane, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova indicated that the reconnaissance plane was owned by the United States.

“The actions of the US Air Force have created a threat to civil aviation,” Zakharova said in the Telegram messaging app.

“If disaster is now averted in the airspace over the open waters of the Black Sea, this does not mean that the United States and NATO can continue to risk people’s lives with impunity.”

The impending incident comes as tensions escalate between Russia and Western countries, amid accusations that Moscow is massing its forces on its border with Ukraine in preparation for its invasion.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president (pictured) has long accused the West of provocation with their open invitation to Ukraine to join NATO.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president (pictured) has long accused the West of provocation with their open invitation to Ukraine to join NATO.

President Joe Biden (pictured) is likely to speak to Vladimir Putin soon, according to reports

President Joe Biden (pictured) is likely to speak to Vladimir Putin soon, according to reports

A satellite image released by Maxar Technologies on November 1 shows troops gathering near the town of Yelnia.  Washington's warning comes as Putin masses his forces near Ukrainian territory, with satellite images such as this one taken in the past few weeks showing large tank camps and artillery pieces in the area.

A satellite image released by Maxar Technologies on November 1 shows troops gathering near the town of Yelnia. Washington’s warning comes as Putin masses his forces near Ukrainian territory, with satellite images such as this one taken in the past few weeks showing large tank camps and artillery pieces in the area.

An unclassified intelligence document obtained by The Washington Post shows satellite images of troops and equipment accumulating around the border with Ukraine.

Pictures taken in June near Yelnia, near the northern borders between Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, showed empty ground. The photographs showed that by November 9, five tactical battalion groups were in place.

In 2014, similar scenes were repeated along the Russian-Ukrainian border near Crimea before Russia captured the strategic Black Sea port.

Russia has denied such plans and accuses NATO countries of “provocations”, including military exercises near its borders.

Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden are scheduled to speak on December 7, according to Russian reports.

Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken met his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.

Anthony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, is seen meeting Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, in Stockholm on Thursday.

Anthony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, is seen meeting Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, in Stockholm on Thursday.

Blinken warned Moscow of the “heavy costs” that Russia would pay if it invaded Ukraine, and on Thursday urged his Russian counterpart to seek a diplomatic exit from the crisis.

“You have made very clear our deep concerns and our determination to hold Russia accountable for its actions, including our commitment to work with European allies to impose severe costs and consequences on Russia if it takes further aggressive actions against Ukraine,” Blinken told a news conference. after the meeting.

Russia must now de-escalate current tensions by reversing the recent troop surge, returning troops to their normal peacetime positions and refraining from further intimidation and attempts to destabilize Ukraine.

Lavrov told reporters before his talks with Blinkin that Moscow was ready for dialogue with Kiev.

“We, as President Putin has stated, do not want any conflicts,” he said.

Blinken stated, before the meeting: “We don’t know if President Putin made the decision to invade.

We know he puts in the ability to do so at short notice if he decides to.

“We must prepare for all emergencies.”



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