• February 22, 2015


Following a military incident off the coast of Cornwall involving two aircraft operated by the Russian Federation and subsequent eye witness reports by members of the public suggesting that the UK Ministry of Defence were being less than transparent in this matter, the Cornwall Branch of the Celtic League has written to the UK Secretary of State for Defence seeking clarification.

A role of the Celtic League is the monitoring of military activity in as much as it affects the Celtic Nations which form its membership.

A copy of the letter is below:

“Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP,
Secretary of State for Defence,
House of Commons,
London, SW1A 0AA

21st February, 2015
Dear Secretary of State

Incident involving Russian Federation military aircraft off the coast of Cornwall during Wednesday 18th February, 2015

I write to you regarding the incident which occurred during Wednesday 18th February, 2015 when two very elderly Russian Federation Tupolev Tu95 aircraft which were allegedly in international airspace off the coast of Cornwall were eventually intercepted and escorted by two RAF Typhoon aircraft.

The Celtic League has already written to Alexander Yakovenko, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Court of St.James’s regarding this matter and a copy of our organisation’s letter to the Russian Federation Embassy in London is attached hereunder for your information.

The United Kingdom Ministry of Defence’s official statement is as follows: ‘The Russian planes were escorted by the RAF until they were out of the UK area of interest. At no time did the Russian military aircraft cross into UK sovereign airspace.’

However, we draw your attention to the fact that several eye witnesses here in Cornwall actually saw and described at least one of the Russian Federation aircraft flying well inland and directly over St. Eval in Cornwall apparently following the route of the A30 road.

Sue Bamford from Bodmin and her driving instructor Claire Brazil from St. Austell described the obsolete Tupolev Tu95 Bear aircraft in detail and their account has now been supported by other eye witnesses.

Leaving aside the hysteria and whether these 1950’s design propeller driven aircraft genuinely represent any real military threat other than a potential hazard to civil aviation, a point made in our letter to the Russian Federation Ambassador, we seek your assurance that an increasing number of eye witnesses in Cornwall are incorrect and that the Ministry of Defence’s original assertion remains extant, notably that the Russian Federation aircraft were in international airspace at all times.

Yours faithfully,

Cllr. Michael J Chappell
Caderyor – An Kesunyans Keltek Scoren Gernewek
Convener – The Cornish Branch of the Celtic League
(3 Edwards Apartments, Gweal Pawl, REDRUTH TR15 3AE)
(e) kernow@celticleague.net (w) https://www.celticleague.net/

Our communication with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Court of St.James’s

The Ambassador
Alexander Yakovenko
Embassy of the Russian Federation
6-7 Kensington Palace Gardens
United Kingdom

19th February 2015

Dear Ambassador Yakovenko,

The Celtic League works to promote cooperation between the Celtic Countries ( Scotland , Ireland . Mann, Wales , Cornwall and Brittany ) and supports movements within those countries in their struggle for independence. We are not supportive of involvement by the Celtic countries in geo-political military blocs or alliances

In the one Celtic country that is currently independent ‘The Republic of Ireland’ we have always supported a stance of neutrality and we are actively opposed to the involvement of that Country in military alliances with the United Kingdom or any integration with NATO.

To that end we work with like minded bodies such as the Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) in opposition, not just to NATO involvement, but for neutrality generally.

We support those including the present Scottish government who wish to see nuclear weapons removed from that country.

I set out the above because I think it is important that the government of the Russian Federation understand that we have no wish to see our countries involved in any military embroilment or incident involving your Federation and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

To that end incursions over recent months by Russian military aircraft into ‘controlled airspace’ off Scotland, Ireland and Cornwall are both unwelcome and unwarranted, particularly as the aircraft are reported to have had their flight transponders turned off meaning that civil air traffic would not be aware of their presence.

There has been speculation in the United Kingdom press as to what sort of weaponry these aircraft might be carrying however in our view a much greater immediate danger is the fact that such incursions (whilst not involving over-flights of sovereign territory) pose a risk to domestic airliner traffic travelling on routes in ‘controlled airspace’ to and from the Celtic countries.

Another side effect of these‘probing’ flights is that it could lead to an enhanced militarisation of the Celtic countries something that our organisation has worked against for almost 40 years.

I believe your countries Embassy in Dublin has issued a robust defence of your current activities and suggested no threat is posed to civil aviation. Meanwhile the Irish government has suggested this issue could be resolved via the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

We trust that the government of the Russian Federation will be pragmatic and respond to the Irish government concerns by cooperating via the ICAO in resolving the matter.

As set out above the peoples of the Celtic countries have no hostility towards the Russian Federation and its people and therefore we would respectively request that incursions by your countries military aircraft into ‘controlled airspace’ around the Celtic countries should be restricted or at least comply with ICAO guidance on safety.

Yours sincerely,

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


Link here to local radio report from Cornwall the women in question seem adamant they know what they saw:


J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information


(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

Internet site at:



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