Poland Says Aircraft 'Activated' As Russian Cruise Missile Enters Airspace

Poland Says Aircraft ‘Activated’ As Russian Cruise Missile Enters Airspace

A Russian cruise missile fired at western Ukraine early on Sunday entered NATO member Poland’s airspace, according to Warsaw’s military.

The missile crossed into Polish airspace close to the eastern village of Oserdów, which sits on the country’s border with Ukraine, at just before 4:30 a.m. local time (11:30 p.m. Saturday E.T.), Warsaw said.

“Among other things, Polish and allied aviation was activated,” the Polish military said in a statement posted to social media. This “may result in increased noise levels, especially in the southeastern part of the country,” Warsaw said in a separate post to X.

Moscow was targeting towns in the west of Ukraine with its long-range aviation fleet, and Polish radar systems tracked the missile throughout its flight, the Polish military added. The missile was in NATO airspace for 39 seconds.

Newsweek has reached out to the Russian Defense Ministry for comment via email.

In late December 2023, Polish military officials said an unknown object had entered Polish airspace from the direction of the country’s border with Ukraine.

NATO countries have been careful to avoid direct involvement in the war in Ukraine, and incidents involving neighboring countries deepen fears of the conflict widening. An attack on one member of the alliance is deemed an attack on all, which could escalate the war far beyond its current state.

On Sunday, Ukraine’s air force said Russia had attacked its territory with 29 Kh-101 and Kh-555 cruise missiles launched by long-range aviation aircraft based at the Engels-2 base, a southern Russian facility housing Moscow’s strategic bombers. Air defenses destroyed 18 of the missiles, Kyiv said.

Ukrainian officials in the country’s western Lviv region and around the capital, Kyiv, reported cruise missile strikes and the use of Russia’s Kinzhal, or Dagger, air-launched missiles that Moscow has touted as hypersonic.

Serhiy Popko, the head of Kyiv’s military administration, described the overnight strikes as “the third massive missile attack on Ukraine in the last four days.” Poland’s military said on Sunday it had detected “intense long-range aviation activity” from Russia in the early hours of Sunday, adding it was “related to air and missile strikes on objects located in the territory of Ukraine.”

An F 16 fighter jet takes part in the NATO Air Shielding exercise near an airbase in central Poland on October 12, 2022. A Russian cruise missile fired at western Ukraine early on Sunday entered…

AFP via Getty Images/RADOSLAW JOZWIAK
Early on Saturday, Ukraine said Russia launched four anti-aircraft guided missiles over eastern Ukraine and 34 Shahed drones. The previous day, Kyiv’s air force said Moscow launched 151 attacks, using 88 missiles and 63 strike drones. On Thursday morning, Kyiv said it had destroyed 29 Russian cruise missiles and two ballistic missiles.

Updated 3/24/2024, 5:25 a.m. ET: This article has been updated with additional information.

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