Russian Combat Aircraft Have Recently Violated The Finnish Airspace Too

Finnish airspace violation
Screenshot from the Russian MOD video showing a Russian Su-30SM and a Finnish F/A-18C Hornet.

A few days before a Sukhoi Su-24 violated the Swedish airspace, four Russian aircraft, including two fighters, violated the Finnish airspace.

As already reported, on Jun. 14, 2024, a Russian Su-24 aircraft violated Swedish airspace east of the southern tip of Gotland. The violation caused the Swedish Air Force to scramble its JAS-39 Gripen fighters that intercepted and shadowed the Russian reconnaissance aircraft outside of the Swedish Air Force.

The first violation of the Swedish airspace since Stockholm joined NATO was preceded by the violation of the airspace of Finland, that became a full member of the North Atlantic Treaty on Apr. 4, 2023.

In fact, the Finnish authorities are currently investigating the incident that occurred in the sea area off Loviisa, Finland, on Monday, June 10, 2024, which at first seemed to involve only one aircraft.

“As the investigation progresses, it has become apparent that in addition to the previously reported one Russian plane, there is also reason to suspect three other planes of territorial infringement. The area violation is suspected to have been committed by a four-plane division, which included two bombers and two fighter-class aircraft. At its deepest, the territorial violation has extended 2.5 km to the Finnish side.”

Approximate location of the violation. (Image credit: The Aviationist using Google Maps)

The alleged infringement happened in the Gulf of Finland near the coastal town of Loviisa in the southeastern region of the country.

“We take this suspected territorial violation seriously, and an investigation has been immediately launched,” Defence Minister Antti Häkkänen (NCP) stated, emphasizing that the Finnish Border Guard is handling the investigation.

Video shows close encounter

On June 10, 2024, the day of the reported violation, the Russian MOD released a video showing Tu-95MS Bear as well as Tu-22M3 Backfire bombers, escorted by Flanker fighters during “scheduled flights in the airspace over the neutral waters of the Baltic, Barents and Norwegian seas”. According to Moscow, “the longest flight was more than 6 hours. Fighter escort was provided by the crews of Su-30SM, Su-27, Su-33 aircraft of the Aerospace Forces and naval aviation of the Navy. At certain stages of the route, long-range bombers were accompanied by fighters from foreign countries.”

Indeed, the footage shows also a Finnish Air Force F/A-18C Hornet flying close to a Russian Su-30SM that was escorting one of the bombers.


“All flights of aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces are carried out in strict accordance with international rules for the use of airspace,” says the Russian MOD.

The last confirmed breach of Finnish airspace by Russia occurred in August 2022, when two Russian MiG-31 fighter jets entered Finnish airspace near the city of Porvoo for approximately two minutes.

The Long-Range Aviation mission on Jun. 10 preceded the second stage of the nuclear drills ordered by President Vladimir Putin in response to indications from Western officials that they would allow Ukraine to strike deep into Russia with Western weapons.

In fact, Russia disclosed that its northern Leningrad Military District forces had launched on Tuesday Jun. 11, drills to deploy tactical nuclear weapons. The exercises were conducted in areas adjacent to NATO member countries, including Finland, Norway, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

In the second phase of the drills Russian and Belarusian forces would engage in joint training involving non-strategic nuclear weapons used in combat, the Defense Ministry announced. The exercise aimed to maintain the readiness of both personnel and equipment to uphold the “sovereignty and territorial integrity” of the Russia-Belarus alliance.

Last month’s first phase of the exercise focused on preparing for nuclear missions and the deployment of launch systems, according to the Russian MOD.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.