Military tension has reached an all-time high between the West and Russia prompted by the Ukraine crisis leading to a highly disturbing picture of border violations and close encounters, a British thinktank said.
The European Leadership Network, a London-based think tank, has produced a detailed study which has confirmed 40 specific occurrences the last eight months.
They identified 11 serious instances of a more aggressive or unusually provocative nature bringing a higher level risk of escalation.
These include harassment of reconnaissance planes, close over flights over warships and Russian `mock bombing raid' missions.
It also singled out three high risk instances which carried a high probability of causing casualties or a direct military confrontation.
This included a narrowly avoided collision between a civilian airliner and Russian surveillance plane,
This also included abduction of an Estonian intelligence officer and a large-scale Swedish `submarine hunt' in the Baltic Sea.
The organization hinted at Russia's posturing being similar to the Cold War years when these sorts of flights and activities were used to regularly test out Nato defences.
ELN said:Even though direct military confrontation has been avoided so far, the mix of more aggressive Russian posturing and the readiness of Western forces to show resolve increases the risk of unintended escalation and the danger of losing control over events.
ELN said the Russian leadership needs to urgently reevaluate the costs and risks of continuing its more assertive military posture
Western diplomacy should be aimed at persuading Russia to move in this direction.
UK: Putin plunging world into Cold War
British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to personally tell Russian president Vladimir Putin that he is plunging the world into a new Cold War.
The two leaders will be meeting this weekend at the G20 summit to be held in Australia the first such meeting between the two since the Ukraine crisis erupted.
Cameron said that Putin's aggressive posturing lately in Ukraine pose a grave danger to Europe.