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Russian missile may have passed through Polish airspace before striking Ukraine: report

Byusanewscart.com

Dec 29, 2023

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A top Polish military official revealed that a Russian missile may have entered his country’s airspace before striking Ukraine, according to a report. 

“Everything indicates that a Russian missile intruded in Poland’s airspace,” Gen. Wiesław Kukuła, Poland’s defense chief, said. “It was monitored by us on radars and left the airspace. We have confirmation of this on radars and from allies [in NATO].”

Polish President Andrzej Duda called an emergency security meeting after the object appeared on radar, and 200 police officers have searched the area near the town of Hrubieszow where the radar detected the object in case it landed in Polish territory, the BBC reported. 

Poland’s defense forces said the object penetrated about 24 miles into its airspace and left it after less than three minutes.

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White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan addressed the incident with Jacek Siewiera, the Polish Secretary of State and head of the National Security Bureau. Sullivan made clear the U.S. would support Poland and offered technical assistance “as needed,” according to a readout of the conversation. 

Polish missile

A soldier drives a military vehicle carrying a Patriot launcher module part of the U.S.-made MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system in an open field in Zamosc, Poland, on Feb. 18.

Sullivan also assured his counterpart that President Biden is following the issue closely, for which Siewiera expressed appreciation as he confirmed the two governments would remain in close contact on the issue. 

Rebekah Koffler, a strategic military intelligence analyst and the author of “Putin’s Playbook,” told Fox News Digital that the missile could be part of provocation from Russia, but that precision targeting is “not exactly the Russian military’s forte.”

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“Unintended escalation has always been a risk in this conflict,” Koffler said. “In this case, Poland is unlikely to respond. It’s not the first time it’s happened.”

Building on fire

Firefighters work on a site of a building damaged after a Russian attack in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Friday.  (Ukrainian Emergency Service via AP)

Three missiles have entered Poland during the conflict: One missile, allegedly fired by Ukraine as part of a missile defense mechanism, landed in Poland in November 2022, killing two farmers; another missile allegedly fired from Belarus landed harmlessly in a forest in December 2022; and another unidentified object, which may have been an observation balloon, entered Polish airspace earlier this year. 

Duda’s aide Grazyna Ignaczak-Bandych relayed the president’s relief that “no one was hurt” following the latest incident. 

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The latest object may have been part of an immense missile barrage that Russia fired on Friday — one of the largest fired during the war with Ukraine, which included 122 missiles and 36 drones striking six different cities, including the capital, Kyiv. 

Russian military vehicles

Russian RS-24 Yars ballistic missiles roll toward Red Square to attend a dress rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 7. (AP Photo)

The strike killed 18 people, and Ukrainian forces were able to intercept 87 of the missiles and shoot down or disable 27 of the drones. 

“Some of [Russia’s] weapons lack accuracy and, culturally, they don’t care as much as, let’s say the U.S. military, if, in addition to the desired target, they destroy whatever is near it,” Koffler noted. 

Polish military expert Cmdr. Makysmilian Dura told a local news outlet that attributing blame to Russia for the object detected in Polish airspace could prove “premature” because they had not found the missile; he likewise cautioned that the missile could still be in Poland since the radar did not detect the object leaving the country. 

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“As a result of such massive attacks, this can happen. The enemy is attacking our border territories, including in the west. This is another signal for our partners to strengthen the Ukrainian air defense,” Yurii Ihnat, spokesperson for Ukraine’s Air Force, said on national television about the incident.

Fox News Digital’s Lawrence Richard and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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