Poland scrambles aircraft after Russian missile enters its airspace: '39 secs inside borders'

This is the second airspace breach in recent times, the first being in last December

UKRAINE-CRISIS/ATTACK-KYIV An explosion of a missile is seen in the sky over the city during a Russian missile strike in Kyiv | Reuters

Poland said it activated aircraft on Sunday morning after a Russian missile, targetting Ukraine, entered its airspace, moving around two kilometres across the border. This is the second airspace violation in recent times, the first being last December when a Russian missile entered Poland for almost three minutes before turning back into Ukrainian airspace.

Polish army spokesperson Jacek Goryszewski told reporters: "One of these (Russian) rockets at 0423 crossed into our airspace, moving at a speed of almost 800 kilometres per hour. "It went around 2 kilometres over the border."

The Operational Command of the Polish armed forces too took to X to confirm the news. "On March 24 at 4:23 a.m., there was a violation of Polish airspace by one of the cruise missiles launched tonight by the long-range aviation of the Russian Federation," the post read. "The object flew into Polish [air]space near the village of Oserdow (Lublin Voivodeship) and spent 39 seconds in it," Operational Command said. "It was observed by military radar systems throughout its flight."

The Operational Command added that both Polish and allied aircraft had been activated. "All necessary procedures to ensure the security of Polish airspace have been activated," the Command added. "The Polish Military is continuously monitoring the situation on Ukrainian territory and remains on constant alert to ensure the safety of Polish airspace," it said.

Poland is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). 

The Russian missile's breach of airspace came as Ukraine reported that Russia had launched about 20 missiles and seven Shahed attack drones at Lviv, the Western Ukrainian region near the Polish border. 

Lviv region’s governor, Maksym Kozytskyi, said Stryi district, south of the city of Lviv, near the Polish border, was attacked. Mayor Andriy Sadovy said about 20 missiles and seven Iranian-made Shahed drones were fired at the region. "They targeted critical infrastructure facilities."

Last December, Poland claimed that a Russian missile stayed inside the country's borders for almost three minutes and then turned back into Ukrainian airspace. The incident occurred on December 29, 2023.  The missile travelled about 40km (25 miles) into Polish airspace, following which aircraft were scrambled in response.

The Polish Operational Command said the unidentified object had entered Poland from Ukraine near the town of Zamosc, in the Lublin region of south-eastern Poland, not far from the border. Authorities then deployed 200 officers to search the area where the object was detected, in case the missile landed on Polish territory. 

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