Poland Calls For Explanation From Russia After A Missile Crossed Its Airspace Amid Attack On Ukraine

A view shows aftermath of fresh air attacks on Belgorod on March 24, 2024. (Photo by STRINGER / AFP) (Photo by STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images)
A view shows aftermath of fresh air attacks on Belgorod on March 24, 2024. (Photo by STRINGER / AFP) (Photo by STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
11:10 AM – Sunday, March 24, 2024

Polish authorities are demanding an explanation from Russia after one of their missiles momentarily strayed into Polish airspace over the weekend, causing the NATO member state to scramble F-16 fighter jets.


According to a statement from the Armed Forces Operational Command of Poland, the Russian cruise missile entered Polish airspace at 4:23 a.m. local time on Sunday near Oserdow, a farming town close to the border with Ukraine, and remained there for 39 seconds.

The Associated Press reported that Russia targeted the capital of Kyiv with the incursion. It was the second major missile strike on Ukraine’s capital and Russia’s third against the country in the previous four days.

The commander of Kyiv’s military administration, Serhiy Popko, stated there were no immediate indications of damage or casualties from the missile attacks.

Popko continued, saying that Russia launched cruise missiles from Tu-95MS strategic bombers. Rockets from the north began to enter Kyiv in groups, causing an air alert that lasted for more than two hours throughout the capital. The commander stated the attacks originated in the Russian Saratov region’s Engels district.

It remains unknown whether Russia intended for the missile to penetrate Poland’s airspace. Cruise missiles can change their course to get around air defense systems.

Following the incident, in a televised press conference, Polish Defense Minister Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz explained to reporters that if the Russian missile had shown any signs of approaching a Polish target, it would have been shot down.

Kosiniak-Kamysz also stated that Polish officials were keeping an eye on the attack and were in communication with their Ukrainian colleagues, as well as F-16s from NATO and Poland being activated as part of the strategic reaction.

He added that while Russia was targeting the area in western Ukraine around Lviv, the missile broke over Polish airspace by around a kilometer or two.

“As last night’s rocket attack on Ukraine was one of the most intense since the beginning of the Russian aggression, all the strategic procedures were launched on time and the object was monitored until it left the Polish airspace,” Kosiniak-Kamysz said.

In an interview with the daily Gazeta Wyborcza, Henryk Zdyb, the head of the village of Oserdow, claimed to have seen the missile and to have heard it whistle.

“I saw a rapidly moving object in the sky. It was illuminated and flying quite low over the border with Ukraine,” Zdyb told the channel.

There have been multiple intrusions into Polish airspace since Russia initiated an invasion of Ukraine more than two years ago, alarming the European Union and NATO member states and serving as a reminder of how near the war is.

“We have to come to terms with the fact that the war is taking place right next to us, and we are part of the confrontation between the West and Russia,” commentator Artur Bartkiewicz said in the Rzeczpospolita newspaper Sunday.

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