Apparently, the commander of the USS Donald Cook deeming the Russian simulated air attack on his vessel earlier this week "unsafe and unprofessional", and the expressed U.S. belief that this constituted a violation of a 1970s agreement meant to prevent unsafe incidents at sea isn't impressing the Kremlin very much:
Russia said Thursday it does not understand the “painful reaction from our American colleagues” after two of its warplanes made low passes over a U.S. Navy destroyer.
The Su-24 Fencer fighter jets were filmed “buzzing” the USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea, about seventy miles from Russia’s Kaliningrad province, on Monday and Tuesday....
Russian Ministry of Defense spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov hit back Thursday, saying that “upon visual contact, the Russian pilots have executed a turn-away from the ship, compliant to all safety regulations.”...
In a statement, he said: “To be honest, we don’t understand such a painful reaction from our American colleagues.”
The retort to which is day-glo obvious: If the U.S. sent a squadron of F/A-18 Hornets to make "dry" attack runs at a Russian warship seventy miles off of, say, Cape Hatteras in the Atlantic, ignoring hails from their simulated target, what do you suppose the Russian reaction would have been? The term "international incident" comes to mind at the very least, with the Russians angrily protesting this "provocative, aggressive American action" and demanding a formal apology. At the very least. The other likelihood is that the Russian destroyer would probably have started shooting at our Hornets, and a war might have been on. Which is a significant reason why we don't send our attack fighters to "buzz" unfriendly warships.
And remember the plural usages here. The Russian pilots didn't execute "A" turn-away from the Donald Cook, compliant with all safety regulations, they repeated it a full eleven times. This is the military and geopolitical equivalent of a bully dragging a nerd into the bathroom and giving him a series of noogies and swirlies, for (1) his amusement and (2) to remind him that he can do a lot worse to him any time he wants.
It was contemptuous intimidation, in other words. And perhaps the prelude to Putin's decisive move against NATO via the Baltic States that we predicted over a year ago. "We're taking Europe, Barry. It'd be a shame if anything....happened to your forces if they....got in the way."
So far the reaction from Washington has been....
....but I'm confident they'll be pumping the air full of impotent words to give the Russians more hearty laughter soon.
UPDATE: To be fair, the Obama Regime has "launched a study" into Russia's "growing military clout", so I guess that means they've belatedly become aware of the extreme peril into which the Obama Doctrine has brought the U.S. Which probably was accompanied by hive-fives and hearty laughs of their own.