British Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth intercept two Russian Long Range Blackjack bombers and escort them whilst in the United Kingdom area of interest.
The Russian Blackjack bombers were flying over the North Sea and failed to communicate with air traffic control, making them a threat to other planes, the MoD said in a statement.
Officials said the bombers passed through a United Kingdom "area of interest" over the North Sea but were escorted away from the area by RAF fighters.
Images from airspace monitoring service Air Live showed the tanker circled over the North Sea before heading back towards RAF Brize Norton.
The Ministry of Defence said the jets were monitored by the RAF and Nato partners as they passed through global airspace before they were intercepted by the RAF over the North Sea. The Russian aircraft allegedly only flew through some sort of "UK's area of interest" in the worldwide skies, according to the statement, and were allegedly "not talking to air traffic agencies", which prompted the so-called "intercept".
But the Ministry of Defence said they did not enter United Kingdom airspace.
"At no time did the Russian bombers enter United Kingdom sovereign airspace".
"We will not hesitate to continually defend our skies from acts of aggression".
A spokesman for the French air force, Colonel Cyrille Duvivier, said the Russian planes had been detected earlier on over France but their actions "were not hostile".
RAF fighters have been scrambled to intercept Russian warplanes headed towards United Kingdom airspace in the past.
In January, Russian bombers over the North Sea were intercepted by RAF Typhoons.
Almost a month ago a pair of RAF fighter jets were scrambled from southeast Romania to the Black Sea to head off two Russian aircraft which were believed to be Su-30 fighters.
The RAF jets monitored the Blackjack bombers, which came within around 46 miles of the United Kingdom, before escorting them away before they could encroach on British airspace.
The planes never violated the airspace of other countries, the Russian military stressed, and were sticking to all the rules of global airspace usage.
Britain's Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Mark Lancaster, spoke about "an ever more assertive Russia" in a speech in London in July.
He said the RAF has had to scramble jets more than 80 times over the last decade to intercept Russian military aircraft.