Warsaw and its partners cannot rule out intentional provocation when it comes to a Russian missile reportedly temporarily flying through Polish airspace during a mass attack against Ukraine on Dec. 29, said Polish security official Jacek Siewiera in an interview with TVN24 published on Jan. 3.
In a nationwide attack against Ukraine on Dec. 29, Russia launched 158 drones and missiles, 114 of which were downed by Ukrainian air defenses. Polish officials claimed that one of the Russian missiles crossed the border with Poland before turning back.
Siewiera, the head of Poland's National Security Bureau, said that Polish authorities "have enough information to confirm that this missile was launched from Russian systems."
"It is difficult to assume that the crossing of 40 kilometers from the border was accidental," Siewiera commented, hinting at Moscow's intent.
When asked whether the incident could have been a purposeful provocation, Siewiera said: "I can't rule it out. The allies do not rule it out either."
The Polish official connected it to recent changes in Polish political leadership. After eight years of rule by the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, a coalition of formerly opposition parties formed a new government in December with Donald Tusk as prime minister.
Following the incident, the Polish military conducted searches for possible remains of the projectile in the eastern Lublin province, concluding that "nothing was found that could threaten the safety of the inhabitants."
Moscow refused to provide an explanation for the incident, demanding "concrete evidence" that the missile was Russian.
In another incident on Nov. 15, 2022, a missile flew onto Polish territory during an earlier Russian mass strike, killing two civilians. Polish investigators later concluded that it was a stray Ukrainian anti-air projectile launched to intercept the Russian attack.