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Brits on Alert as Russian Destroyer Approaches U.K.

Ship tracked by Royal Navy, as jets are scrambled to see off Russian planes.
HMS Dragon eyes a Russian destroyer
The Russian destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov (foreground) is tracked by HMS Dragon (background), a British destroyer.Royal Navy / MoD-Crown copyright

The British navy is closely monitoring a Russian destroyer that approached its waters, it said in a statement.

The destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov, seen in the foreground above, was tracked by HMS Dragon, a U.K. Royal Navy destroyer, as it passed the north coast of Scotland.

In a statement on Wednesday, Britain's defense ministry described the maneuver as "a well-established and standard response" to the deployment of the Russian ship.

In a separate development, Britain scrambled Typhoon fighter jets to see off Russian military planes flying close to its airspace on Wednesday.

"There were unidentified aircraft flying near the north of Scotland," a defense ministry spokeswoman told Reuters, saying Britain's Royal Air Force had later identified them as Russian.

"They were flying in international airspace at all times, they didn't go into UK sovereign airspace," she added, saying there had been eight similar incidents in 2013.