April 19, 2024

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NATO countries scramble their fighter planes as Russian missiles fall on Ukraine

NATO countries scramble their fighter planes as Russian missiles fall on Ukraine

Poland sent fighter jets to protect its airspace on Friday, as Ukraine came under a barrage of Russian missiles and drones.

The Polish Air Force said in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the planes were launched amid “intense long-range aviation activity” and missile strikes from Russia on Ukrainian territory.

Just days earlier, on March 24, a Russian cruise missile fired at western Ukraine entered the airspace of NATO member Poland, the military in Warsaw said.

“All necessary measures aimed at ensuring the safety of Polish airspace have been activated, and the operational command of the Polish Air Force is continuously monitoring the situation,” the Polish Air Force’s X website said on Friday.

“Please note that Polish aircraft and allied forces are operating in Polish airspace, which may result in increased noise levels, especially in the southeastern part of the country.”

Newsweek The Russian Ministry of Defense has been contacted for comment via email.

An F-16 fighter jet takes part in a NATO air protection exercise near the air base in Lask, central Poland, October 12, 2022. Poland sent fighter jets to protect its airspace on Friday with…


Radoslaw Jozwiak/AFP/Getty Images

Moscow launched a large-scale missile attack on Ukraine with missiles and drones in the early hours of Friday morning.

The Ukrainian Air Force said on Telegram that Russia launched 99 missiles and drones, including Shahed drones, Kh-47M2 Kinzhal air missiles, Iskander-136 ballistic missiles, Kh-59 guided aircraft missiles, and four Iskander cruise missiles. K and 21 Kh-101/Kh-555 cruise missiles.

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The Air Force said, “The enemy launched a powerful missile air strike on fuel and energy sector facilities in Ukraine using various types of missiles and attack drones,” adding that air defense systems shot down 84 drones. 99 weapons released.

“Honor and praise to all who defend Ukraine against Russian terrorism. Thank you for your combat efforts. Thank you for this result!” Post added.

Ukrainian national electricity grid operator Ukrainergo said the target of the Russian attack was the country's energy infrastructure facilities.

Thermal and hydroelectric power plants in the central and western regions of Ukraine suffered damage, while power outages were reported in the Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv regions, authorities said.

Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galoshenko said that energy facilities in the Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava and Cherkasy regions were targeted.

“Electricity generation facilities were targeted with drones and missiles,” he said on Facebook.

On March 24, Poland said a Russian missile crossed Polish airspace near the eastern village of Ocerdo, near the country's border with Ukraine, just before 4:30 a.m. local time (11:30 p.m. ET on March 23), and that it was in range. NATO air force for 39 seconds.

“Among other things, Polish and allied aviation were activated,” the Polish military said in a statement on the X website at the time. This “may lead to increased noise levels, especially in the southeastern part of the country.”

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