Update (1112 EST): The Polish government has confirmed that a cruise missile entered Polish airspace for three minutes before turning back into Ukraine and striking its target. The announcement reads below:
“We inform you that on Friday at 1 o’clock 7.12 local time, from the border with Ukraine, Polish airspace was violated by an object, which left Polish territory after less than three minutes. We ID this as a Russian maneuverable missile.
Throughout the time, the rocket’s flight path was followed by radiolocation systems, both Polish and allied ones. Air defense systems remained ready for use. In addition, F-16 planes patrolling the area where the Polish rocket crossed the Polish airspace. In addition, in order to verify the data from radiolocation systems, forces and resources from the land forces, air forces, as well as the territorial defense forces were dispatched to track the flight trajectory of the object on the ground.
We thank the residents of Lublin for their vigilance, cooperation and understanding for the activities of soldiers of the Polish Army and officers of other uniformed services. Further information will be provided regularly.”
At approximately 0400 EST, a projectile entered Polish air space during the largest Russian air attack on Ukraine since the beginning of the war almost two years ago. By 0500 EST, the Polish Ministry of Defense confirmed the incident and President Duda held a meeting with Defense Minister Kosiniak-Kamysz.
W godzinach porannych w przestrze? powietrzn? RP od strony granicy z Ukrain? wlecia? niezidentyfikowany obiekt powietrzny, który od momentu przekroczenia granicy, a? do miejsca zaniku sygna?u obserwowany by? przez ?rodki radiolokacyjne systemu obrony powietrznej kraju.
Zgodnie z… pic.twitter.com/Tn7kjfZffO
— Dowództwo Operacyjne (@DowOperSZ) December 29, 2023
By 0600 EST, a force of 200 police officers mobilized to search for missile fragments in the Wozuczyn-Cukrownia area of Poland, where it was sighted overhead. By 0700 EST, Polish media reported that the missile was either a Kh-101 or Kh-22. Both the Defense Minister and Prime Minister Tusk told press that the Polish military remains in a high alert level. NATO General Secretary Stoltenberg also announced that the alliance “remains vigilant” after the incident.
Spoke with President @AndrzejDuda about the missile incident in #Poland. #NATO stands in solidarity with our valued Ally, is monitoring the situation & we will remain in contact as the facts are established. NATO remains vigilant.
— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) December 29, 2023
As of this publication, the missile has not been found and the Russian Federation has made no official comment.