Poland says the Russian missile entered its airspace and then left it – DW – 12/29/2023

A Russian cruise missile briefly entered Polish airspace and flew about 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) over Warsaw territory early Friday, according to the country's top military officials.

This came during a Large-scale Russian air attack on Ukraine It also targeted areas in the west of the country near the border with Poland, including the city of Lviv.

The Polish army had initially only reported an unidentified object entering its airspace, without saying what it was or what happened to it.

“Everything indicates that a Russian missile entered Polish airspace… and also left our airspace,” General Wieslaw Kokula, Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces, told reporters later on Friday.

Warsaw summons the Russian Chargé d'Affaires

Later Friday, Poland summoned the Russian Chargé d'Affaires and asked for clarification regarding the violation.

The Polish Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it also called for an immediate cessation of such activities.

After the talks, the Russian charge d'affaires in Warsaw was quoted as saying that Poland had not provided any evidence of a border violation by a Russian missile.

“I handed over a memorandum containing an unfounded claim that on the morning of December 29, an airborne object violated Polish airspace, which Polish specialists identified as a Russian guided missile,” diplomat Andrzej Ordash was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti news agency.

“No evidence was provided. My request for documentary evidence of what was in the memo was denied.”

What else did the army say?

Gen. Maciej Klisch, the Polish Armed Forces' operations chief, said the missile remained in the country's airspace for about three minutes, and that the military believes it crossed back into Ukraine when it disappeared from radar.

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“The entire flight path was monitored over Polish territory,” Klich said. “At the moment, the scenario I recommend is that the missile left Polish airspace,” he added.

He added that no action had been taken against the projectile.

“We sent our forces and fighter planes to intercept it and shoot it down if necessary, but the duration and course of the flight… made that impossible and allowed the missile to leave Polish territory,” Klich said.

The army also conducted a ground search around the point where radar contact with the projectile was lost, in an attempt to reinforce its belief that it did not hit Polish territory.

The National Security Council meets in Warsaw

Defense Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysh said earlier on Friday that he was in contact with the president, prime minister and the army to confirm the details.

President Andrzej Duda's office also shared a photo of an emergency meeting between politicians and the military.

In November 2022, two people were killed on Poland's border with Ukraine in an explosion. In this case, it eventually turned out to be the case The Ukrainian air defense missile has gone astray.

ms/mm (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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