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A Russian military aircraft captured in a photo shared by Swedish Air Force on April 9, 2024. (Swedish Air Force/X)
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The Swedish Air Force, together with German fighter jets, intercepted a Russian Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft near the Swedish coast, the Swedish military announced on April 9.

"Today, our incident route carried out the visual identification of a Russian Il-20 (signals reconnaissance) that flew into the Swedish flight information region southeast of Blekinge," the statement reads. "VID was carried out together with 2 German Eurofighters on stand-by from NATO, which took off from Laage in Germany."

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

Earlier this month, Germany's Air Force said it had scrambled its fighter jets to intercept a Russian Il-20 aircraft flying over the Baltic Sea without a transponder—an electronic device that helps maintain safe air traffic.

The war has kept Western nations on alert, 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 Il-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.

Air Force commander: Ukraine downs another Russian military aircraft
Ukraine’s military shot down another Russian Su-34 fighter jet, Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk reported on Feb. 21. This is the seventh Russian military plane destroyed by Ukraine over the past week, according to the Air Force.
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