Re: Wait, what? Maybe missing irony quotes around belligerent?
Lots of quotes needed at the moment.
Most newspapers published this along with "Russian pilot unprofessionally approached a NATO aircraft over the Baltic" on the same day based on a NATO press communique which deliberately came out together with the press release for this one.
The communique missed the fact that the NATO aircraft was a RC135 SigInt airplane, that it came within several hundred of meters of Russia defense minister jet and it was while two NATO F16s were harassing that jet by coming within 5m to provoke it to use emergency comms protocols so that the RC135 can listen and record. The actual incident quoted by NATO was the escorting Su-27 jet pilot inserting itself with missiles facing the F16 within the 5m between the Russian government jet. In the meantime the other escort did the same to the RC-135. That is ... what? Flying a bloody big heavy air superiority fighter "on its side" within 2.5m from two aircraft on both sides. Insane - yes. Unprofessional, I beg to differ.
While I understand the desire of some idiots in the Pentagon and NATO HQ to get some listen in on latest Russian coded comms, can we do it without:
1. Lying in a press communique reprinted by all newspapers (El Graunidad corrected it later though).
2. Attaching the communique to a clear case of violating other country's sovereignty in at least 3 different ways as a distraction. Dunno which bit of bad news where they trying to bury in which, but it is definitely a case of "bury bad news".
3. Trying to start WW3.
I do not know who is at the wheel at the moment in the Pentagon (if anyone is at all), but they definitely need to be removed and diplomats be put to work to deescalate. Otherwise we will all end up as radioactive ash at this rate.