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NATO Nation Scrambles Fighter Jets As Russian Missiles Rain Down on Ukraine

Poland scrambled fighter jets to protect its airspace on Friday as Ukraine was hit with a barrage of Russian missiles and drones.
The Polish Air Force said in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the jets 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 NATO member Poland’s airspace, Warsaw’s military said.
“All necessary procedures aimed at ensuring the safety of Polish airspace have been activated, and the Operational Command of the Polish Air Force is monitoring the situation continuously,” the Polish Air Force’s post on X said on Friday.
“Please note that Polish and allied aircraft operate in Polish airspace, which may result in increased noise levels, especially in the southeastern part of the country.”
Newsweek has reached out to the Russian Defense Ministry for comment via email.
An F-16 fighter jet takes part in the NATO Air Shielding exercise near the air base in Lask, central Poland, on October 12, 2022. Poland scrambled fighter jets to protect its airspace on Friday as… An F-16 fighter jet takes part in the NATO Air Shielding exercise near the air base in Lask, central Poland, on October 12, 2022. Poland scrambled fighter jets to protect its airspace on Friday as Ukraine was hit with a barrage of Russian missiles. More RADOSLAW JOZWIAK/AFP/Getty Images
Moscow launched a large-scale missile attack on Ukraine with missiles and drones in the early hours of Friday.
Ukraine’s Air Force said on Telegram that Russia launched 99 missiles and drones, including Shahed drones, Kh-47M2 Kinzhal aeroballistic missiles, Iskander-136 ballistic missiles, Kh-59 guided aircraft missiles, four Iskander-K cruise missiles and 21 Kh-101/Kh-555 cruise missiles.
“The enemy launched a powerful missile-airstrike against the facilities of the fuel and energy sector of Ukraine, using various types of missiles and attack UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles),” the air force said, adding that air-defense systems downed 84 of the 99 launched weapons.
“Honor and praise to all who defend Ukraine from Russian terror. Thank you for your combat efforts. Thank you for this result!” the post added.
Ukraine’s national power grid operator Ukrenergo said the target of the Russian assault was the country’s energy infrastructure facilities.
Authorities said thermal and hydroelectric power plants in Ukraine’s central and western regions were damaged, while power outages were reported in the Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv regions.
Ukraine’s Energy Minister German Galushchenko said power facilities in the Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava and Cherkasy regions were targeted.
“Electricity generation facilities were targeted by drones and missiles,” he said on Facebook.
On March 24, Poland said a Russian missile crossed into Polish airspace close to the eastern village of Oserdów, near the country’s border with Ukraine, at just before 4:30 a.m. local time (11:30 p.m. ET March 23), and that it was in NATO airspace for 39 seconds.
“Among other things, Polish and allied aviation was activated,” the Polish military said in a statement on X at the time. This “may result in increased noise levels, especially in the southeastern part of the country.”
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