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Washington (CNN)The same day that Russian President Vladimir Putin sent congratulations to the White House to mark July 4, the U.S. military was tracking Russian bombers off the coast of Alaska and California.
The U.S. military performed two intercepts of Russians aircraft, though they never entered U.S. airspace, according to a U.S. military official.
The official told CNN that while the U.S. intercepts were routine from a military point of view, the Pentagon views it as Putin "sending a message" to the U.S. on Independence Day, especially because of the congratulatory message to President Barack Obama.