U.S. defence officials say Russian jets crossed into Ukraine airspace

Global News

WASHINGTON – U.S. defence officials said Friday that Russian fighter jets flew into Ukrainian airspace a handful of times over the last 24 hours, in what one called a continued provocation of the heightened tensions in the region.

The officials said it’s not clear what the intent was, but the aircraft could have been testing Ukrainian radar or making a show of force.

Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, confirmed the flights, adding that the U.S. is calling on the Russians “to take immediate steps to de-escalate the situation.”

READ MORE: Russia’s Lavrov accuses West of plotting to seize Ukraine

The flights come as Russia increases military exercises along the Ukraine border, including moving a broad array of fixed wing and rotary aircraft, infantry and armoured troops. The exercises inflame worries about a potential Russian military incursion into Ukraine.

The West has threatened additional sanctions against Russia over its annexation…

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