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Polish Foreign Ministry summons Russian charge d'affaires over missile incident

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 30, 2023 12:30 AM 3 min read
The building of Poland's Foreign Ministry in Warsaw. (Wikimapia)
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The Polish Foreign Ministry reported on Dec. 29 that it has summoned Russian charge d'affaires Andrei Ordash after a Russian missile entered the Polish airspace during the morning mass attack against Ukraine.

Poland's Deputy Foreign Minister Wladyslaw Teofil Bartoszewski handed Ordash a note demanding an explanation of the incident and "an immediate cessation of such activities," the ministry wrote.

Russia unleashed a barrage of 158 attack drones and missiles on Ukraine overnight and in the early morning of Dec. 29 in what the Ukrainian military called the largest air attack on the country since the start of the full-scale invasion.

During the attack, the Polish army's Operational Command recorded an unidentified object entering Poland's airspace from the border with Ukraine. The incident prompted Polish President Andrzej Duda to convene an emergency meeting of the National Security Council.

After the meeting, Polish military officials said that the aerial object was likely a Russian missile, which spent less than three minutes in the country's airspace and then went back to Ukraine.

Witnesses reportedly saw the object "moving at great speed" above the village of Dolhobyczow in Lublin Voivodeship, less than 5 kilometers from the Ukrainian border.

Russia launches largest air attack on Ukraine since start of full-scale war
Local authorities have reported civilian casualties in Kyiv, Lviv, Dnipro, Kharkiv, and Odesa after Russia unleashed a barrage of attack drones and missiles overnight, targeting regions across Ukraine on Dec. 29.

After speaking with the Russian envoy, Bartoszewski told reporters, as cited by Polish media outlet RMF24, that such actions by Russia are "testing our effectiveness and our approach to defense," assuring that Poland will "respond quickly and effectively if this happens again."

Bartoszewski said he's made it clear to Ordash that any repeated attempts of "testing the borders" of Poland will be met "with a stronger reaction" from Warsaw.

He added that if the Russian missile "had flown a bit further into Polish territory, it would have been shot down."

"We have a well-prepared army, great commanders, and a great minister of national defense, and we will do everything to ensure that Poland's security increases significantly in 2024."

The Russian Foreign Ministry hasn't yet commented on Polish statements.

Dolhobyczow lies 12 kilometers north of the village of Przewodow, where two people were killed in November 2022 when a stray Ukrainian anti-air missile hit a grain storage facility.

Polish investigators concluded in September 2023 that Ukrainian air defense launched two S-300 missiles with a range of 75-90 kilometers in an effort to intercept a massive Russian missile strike.

Western leaders condemn Russia’s mass attack on Ukraine, Zelensky urges world to respond
Western leaders condemned Russia’s Dec. 29 mass attack on Ukraine that killed at least 30 people and wounded over 160 as President Volodymyr Zelensky urged the world to react to Russia’s “latest act of terror.”
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