On Feb. 24, 2022 two F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters belonging to the Romanian Air Force (RoAF) were scrambled to intercept an unauthorized flight approaching the national airspace, Aerotime.Aero reported.
The aircraft was identified as a Sukhoi Su-27 (NATO reporting name: Flanker) belonging to the Ukrainian Air Force by the F-16s that escorted it to the RoAF 95th Air Base in the northeastern Romanian city of Bacău, where the Su-27 landed.
The Romanian Ministry of National Defense said in a statemen that “After landing, the Ukrainian military pilot made himself available to the Romanian authorities, and the legal measures required in these situations will be taken.”
Earlier in the day, Russia launched a military intervention in Ukraine, with attacks reported all over the country. The Ukrainian airspace was closed for civil aviation. Several civilian airports, including Kyiv-Boryspil International Airport, were attacked.
CNN reported that US senators have said the unfolding attack in Ukraine is in line with intelligence briefings they received about what to expect from a Russian invasion.
The top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Marco Rubio, tweeted that Russia was launching a “full scale and comprehensive military assault throughout Ukraine.”
He said that the attack involved “airborne and amphibious landings, missile strikes from air, ground and naval forces, electronic and cyber attacks and a large ground force to occupy a large swarth of territory”.
He pointed out that Russian airborne forces are also working to “take control of the airport in Kyiv (so) they can fly in forces to occupy the (capital) city.” A source familiar with the matter said the tweets were based on US intelligence being shared with Intelligence Committee members.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has claimed five Russian aircraft and a helicopter were shot down early Thursday, as Russian forces attacked Ukraine.
The Russian military has denied the claims, state news agency TASS reported on Thursday.
Photo credit: Oleg Belyakov via Wikipedia
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