Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Ukraine live news: Russia ‘flies nuclear-armed planes into Swedish airspace’; Putin’s military chiefs ‘too afraid to tell him the truth’ about war; Kyiv ‘optimistic’ after talks

Russian attack planes carrying nuclear weapons entered Swedish airspace, according to a new report.

A source said the move was a deliberate act of intimidation, according to Sweden’s TV4 News.

The network said four Russian aircraft – two Sukhoi 24 attack planes escorted by two Sukhoi 27 fighter jets – took off from Kaliningrad air base ahead of the incursion on 2 March.

Sources revealed the attack planes were equipped with nuclear weapons “something the Russian pilots were clear to show”.

Due to the conflict in Ukraine, the Swedish Air Force reportedly had an increased preparedness and could see early on that the pilots were heading for the skies over Gotland, a Swedish island in the Baltic Sea.

The country’s armed forces declined to comment officially on whether the two attack planes were equipped with nuclear weapons, but told the network that the violation of airspace must have been deliberate.

“We assess it as a conscious action,” said Air Force Chief Carl-Johan Edstrom.

“Which is very serious, especially as a country at war.

“We have analyzed the incident and it is clear that I cannot rule out incorrect navigation, but everything indicates that they deliberately violated Sweden’s borders”

The violation of Swedish territory lasted for around a minute, the report added.

Sweden – which is neutral and not a NATO member – deployed two JAS 39 Gripen fighter jets that are said to have taken images of the Russian aircraft which confirmed they were equipped with nuclear weapons.

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