Defense/R&D

Sweden claims Russian war planes violated its airspace

The Swedish Air Force reported Wednesday that four Russian fighter jets violated Swedish airspace by flying above the Island of Gotland.

Air Force Commander Carl Johan Edstrom noted in a statement that Sweden responded with Jas 39 Gripen-type fighter jets.

Edstrom said the Russian planes soon returned to their normal course and the air violation was documented with photographs.

He said Sweden takes the incident seriously within the framework of the current situation, underscoring that Russia has committed an irresponsible act that was done amateurishly.

The Swedish Defense Ministry announced in January that it was increasing its visible activities on Gotland Island in the Baltic Sea because of growing tension between NATO and Russia concerning Ukraine.

More than 2,000 civilians have been killed since Russia launched its war on Ukraine on Feb. 24, according to Ukrainian authorities, while the UN Refugee Agency estimates more than 874,000 people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, 498 Russian soldiers have been killed and 1,597 wounded in the fighting.

More than 2,870 Ukrainian soldiers and “nationalists” have also been killed, the ministry said Wednesday.

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