Russia barely finished laughing off accusations that it is sending troops into Ukraine to back rebel militants when it announced that its long-range strategic bombers will be flying patrol missions closer to American shores than at any time since the Cold War. Its new patrol missions will take it up into the Arctic and also down to the Gulf of Mexico. An anonymous military source told the AP that Russia had never actually sent bombers to patrol the Gulf before.
Responding to the NATO allegations about military action on the Ukrainian border, defense minister Sergei Shoigu said that international hostility toward Russia requires the country to back up its occupation of the Crimean Peninsula, annexed in May, and to assert itself elsewhere. “In the current situation we have to maintain military presence in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific, as well as the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico,” he said.
Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren assured the wire service that this move was not a provocation, but didn’t explain why, if it talks like a duck and walks like a duck, this move is not a duck.