“The State Department acknowledged that the crew of the destroyer USS Donald Cook has been gravely demoralized ever since their vessel was flown over in the Black Sea by a Russian Sukhoi-24 (Su-24) fighter jet which carried neither bombs nor missiles but only an electronic warfare device.”
Prior to the incident in the Black Sea, the Russian defense ministry complained about the deployment of the warship. The ministry said it demonstrated that U.S. antimissile systems in Europe are aimed at undermining Russia’s nuclear deterrent.
Russia has condemned the placement by NATO of a radar in the Czech Republic and ten interceptors in Poland.
Russia is also sending a message in the wake of the United States and NATO decision to confront it over its alleged role in the crisis in Ukraine. This message could not be more blunt – Russia has the capability to shut down the most technologically advanced aspects of the U.S. military machine, including its ability to launch nuclear missiles.