Poland asserts that it is probable that Russian rockets have breached its airspace.
Poland has summoned the Russian charge d’affaires to demand an explanation for the suspected violation of its airspace by a Russian missile. General Maciej Klisz, the operational commander of the Polish armed forces, indicated that an unidentified aerial object, likely a Russian missile, spent less than three minutes in Polish airspace before returning over Ukraine. The incident occurred amid a heavy Russian attack on Ukraine overnight. The entire flight path over Polish territory was reportedly monitored, and the general suggested that the missile exited Poland’s airspace.
In response to the airspace violation, Poland has called for an immediate halt to such activities and sought clarification from the Russian embassy. The foreign ministry released a statement emphasizing the urgency of the situation.
The Russian embassy in Warsaw has not provided an immediate comment on the matter.
The incident took place as Russia launched an attack on Ukraine using 158 drones and missiles, targeting critical infrastructure, industry, and military facilities. There were no immediate reports of casualties related to the suspected airspace violation.
This incident brings to mind previous concerns, such as a stray Ukrainian missile hitting a Polish village in November 2022 and the discovery of a Russian missile in a forest near the city of Bydgoszcz in April. Reports of a search for the object near Hrubieszow in southern Poland have surfaced, although Reuters has not been able to confirm this information.
Emergency services, including police and volunteer army units, are actively searching the area for the object, with no confirmation yet on whether it landed on Polish territory. General Klisz noted that the missile had traveled 40 kilometers into Poland, and Prime Minister Donald Tusk convened a meeting with army and security services chiefs to address the situation.
Ukrainian officials reported that a barrage of attacks targeted schools, a maternity hospital, shopping arcades, and residential buildings, resulting in a devastating toll. Russia initiated a large-scale air assault over Ukraine on Friday, causing a minimum of 30 fatalities and over a hundred injuries across the nation, marking the most intense offensive since the war’s inception nearly two years ago.
President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed, ‘Today Russia hit us with almost everything it has in its arsenal.’ Ukraine’s military estimated that Russia launched 158 missiles and drones, with 114 of them successfully intercepted. Air force spokesman Yuriy Ignat described it as a ‘record number’ and ‘the most massive missile attack’ in the war, excluding the early days of constant bombardment. Russia sought to overpower Ukraine’s air defenses in major cities, deploying Shahed attack drones followed by various missile types from planes and Russian-controlled territory.’
Interior Minister Igor Klymenko reported on Telegram that the morning’s massive attack resulted in 30 fatalities and over 160 injuries on Ukrainian territory. The Russian army claimed responsibility for ’50 group strikes and one massive strike’ on military facilities in Ukraine over the past week, asserting that ‘all targets were hit.’
Amid the ongoing Russian assaults, Ukraine implores Western allies to sustain military support. Presidential aide Andriy Yermak emphasized the need for ‘more support and strength to stop this terror.’ Poland reported a Russian missile passing through its airspace, prompting General Wieslaw Kukula to confirm its entry and exit.
Following discussions with Polish President Andrzej Duda, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg expressed solidarity, stating, ‘NATO remains vigilant.’
In response to the escalating situation, U.S. President Joe Biden called on Congress to overcome division and approve new aid for Ukraine. This plea comes after Washington released its final package of weaponry under existing agreements, pending renewal by Congress. Biden warned, ‘Unless Congress takes urgent action in the new year, we will not be able to continue sending the weapons and vital air defense systems Ukraine needs to protect its people.’
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