By Luke Andrews For Mailonline
Published: 12:34 BST, 5 September 2020 | Updated: 13:07 BST, 5 September 2020
Donald Trump has flown three B52 bombers into Ukrainian airspace as a warning to Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The B-52H stratofortress bombers swooped along the border of the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula in a clear show of strength before flying close to areas under the control of Kremlin-backed separatists.
The bombers, which are capable of carrying nuclear weapons, took off from RAF Fairfold in Gloucestershire, UK.
It comes amid mounting tensions between Washington and Moscow over the poisoning of Putin's main rival Alexei Navalny and Russia's interference in unrest in Belarus.
A week ago a Russian Su-27 fighter jet performed a potentially dangerous manoeuvre in front of another B-52H flying over the Black Sea.
Three B-52H bombers flew into Ukrainian airspace in a show of strength against Putin
The elite warplanes, capable of carrying nuclear weapons, swooped by the border of Russian-occupied Crimea before flying near to areas occupied by Kremlin-backed separatists
Flight path maps show the elite warplanes entering Ukrainian airspace and flying towards Crimea, where they circled in a racetrack-like formation.
The planes then moved towards Russian separatist-controlled areas and headed, at their furthest point, to the city of Melitopol, which is around 100 miles from separatist regions.
It is thought that several Ukrainian Su-27 Flankers joined the bombers when they entered the country's airspace.
At least one British Eurofighter Typhoon flew from RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, to join the formation.
Several spy planes also operated in the region, according to website The Drive, including American Rivet Joint and RAF Airseeker.
It is thought they were accompanied by Ukrainian Su-27 warplanes (pictured) and an RAF plane from Akrotiri, Cyprus
Two of the three planes, with the call signs Julia, are pictured on the above images
Observer Petri Makela said: 'This is the most intensive (spy plane activity) I've seen in a while.
'At least two USAF RC-135V/W Rivet Joint SIGINT planes recording the Russian emissions (radar, comms etc.) from Crimea and Russia