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Germany scrambles fighter jets to intercept Russian aircraft flying over Baltic Sea

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 7, 2024 3:13 PM 1 min read
A Russian military aircraft captured in a photo shared by German Air Force on April 7, 2024. (German Air Force/X)
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The German Air Force said late on April 6 that it had scrambled its fighter jets to intercept a Russian II-20 aircraft flying over the Baltic Sea without a transponder – an electronic device that helps maintain safe air traffic.

The fighter jets took off on April 6 from a base in Lielvarde, a Latvian town about 50 kilometers (about 31 miles) southeast of Riga.

Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine has periodically spilt westward over the course of two years, with Russian missiles entering NATO members' airspace.

The war has kept the Western nations on alert for their safety, redeploying more aircraft, ships, and troops to safeguard NATO's eastern flank in the alliance's member-states that neighbor Ukraine – including the Baltic states and Poland.  

In March, Poland said it had scrambled its fighter jets when a Russian missile violated its air space for 39 seconds but did not shoot it down as it knew that the missile would circle back to Ukraine, and it could have posed a danger to civilians.

A week later, Polish and other allied aircraft were scrambled in response to reports of a massive Russian missile attack against Ukraine.

In February, the French armed forces said that a French Mirage 2000D fighter jet had intercepted a Russian II-20 reconnaissance and intelligence aircraft off the Estonian coast.

In January, the German Air Force also said it had intercepted a Russian military aircraft flying in international airspace near Rugen –a German island in the Baltic Sea – and "briefly accompanied it before it turned back to the east." It added that the Russian aircraft was flying without a transponder signal.

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