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Increase in the number of interceptions over the Baltic Sea. Reuters: Russia has changed its behavior

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The number of fighter flights intercepting Russian planes approaching the airspace of NATO countries over the Baltic Sea region has increased, Reuters reported, citing a source in the Alliance.

In the first quarter of 2024, NATO fighters intercepted 20 to 25 percent more Russian aircraft than a year ago, Reuters reported, citing a source in the Alliance. Last year, NATO said allied fighter jets took off more than 300 times to intercept Russian warplanes, with most incidents taking place over the Baltic Sea.


However, since then, NATO has noticed a change in the composition of Russian aircraft near the territories on its eastern flank, a source told Reuters.

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Russia “changed its behavior”

Currently, Western pilots rarely detect Russian fighters or strategic bombers approaching the airspace of a NATO country, and most of the intercepted machines are surveillance and transport planes. It's not clear why Russia has changed its behavior, but it is assumed that Moscow needs its bombers and fighters on Ukraineas the fighting there becomes more and more intense, the source added.

NATO says Russian military planes have failed to transmit transponder codes indicating their location and altitude in the past, nor have they filed a flight plan or communicated with air traffic controllers.

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Alliance increased its presence on its eastern flank, sending more fighters there and establishing ground-based air defenses. Additional fighters were also deployed in Romania.

At the beginning of the year, NATO launched the largest exercises since the Cold War, in which approximately 90,000 soldiers took part. They are intended to practice implementing regional plans – the first defense plans the alliance has drawn up in decades – detailing how NATO would respond to a Russian attack.

Main photo source: FOR THIS

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