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Poland Scrambles Fighter Jets as Russia Intensifies Missile Strikes on Ukraine

Poland deployed fighter jets to safeguard its airspace in response to intensified Russian missile strikes on Ukraine. The move comes after a Russian missile briefly entered Polish territory, as confirmed by the Polish military.

Poland’s Airspace Protection

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Poland, a NATO member sharing a border with Ukraine, activated two pairs of F-16 fighter jets and an allied air tanker in response to Russia’s recent missile attacks on Ukraine, including the capital Kyiv and the Kharkiv region.

Russian Long-Range Aviation Activity

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Poland’s Operational Command reported an increase in long-range aviation activity by Russia, linked to missile strikes in Ukraine. This led to the activation of fighter jets stationed in Łask and Krzesiny to safeguard Polish airspace.

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Poland’s Concerns

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Last week, Poland expressed concern after it believed a Russian missile entered and exited its airspace. The situation escalated following Russia’s extensive missile attack on Ukraine over the New Year period.

Poland’s Diplomatic Approach

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Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Władysław Teofil Bartoszewski, summoned Russia’s chargé d’affaires, Andrei Ordash, to request an explanation. However, Russia demanded concrete evidence before providing an explanation.

Russia’s Ongoing Missile Attacks

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Russia continued its heavy missile and drone attacks on Ukraine, targeting residential buildings and civilian infrastructure. The attacks intensified after Ukraine’s missile strike on the Russian city of Belgorod.

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Casualties in Ukraine

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Ukraine reported at least 25 people killed and 108 injured in its attack on Belgorod. In response, Russia vowed to retaliate and has been bombarding Ukraine with missiles daily.

Ukraine’s Air Defense

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Ukraine claimed to have downed all ten hypersonic Kinzhal missiles fired by Russia, using the US-made Patriot air defense system. This marked a significant achievement in defending against such high-speed missiles.

Missile Dangers

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Kinzhal missiles travel at approximately ten times the speed of sound, carry a large warhead, and have a range of 1,250 miles. Their impact could be catastrophic if they reached their targets.

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Russia’s Target

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks to the media during a press conference as Ukraine marks one year since Russia’s large-scale invasion, on February 24, 2023 in Kyiv, Ukraine. — Photo by Oleksandr_Gusev

Russia’s Defense Ministry stated that its target was Ukraine’s “military-industrial complex” and claimed to have achieved its objectives.

Ukrainian President’s Response

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the attacks and pledged that Russia would be held accountable for every life lost. He praised the efforts of Ukraine’s air defense soldiers.

Impact on Kyiv

MYKOLAIV, UKRAINE JULY 21, 2016: Ukrainian army participate in Sea Breeze 2016 international trainings. During trainings soldiers completed aircraft missions as well as ground operations — Photo by ReportageUkraine

Russia’s overnight strikes caused fires in several districts of Kyiv. At least 20 people were injured, and rescue operations were underway.

Ukraine faced challenges with fires and damage to residential buildings and vehicles in Kyiv and its surrounding areas.

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Tension at the Border

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Poland shares a more than 300-mile border with Ukraine, raising concerns about the conflict spilling over into neighboring European countries.

Incidents Near Polish Border

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In November 2022, a Russian-made missile landed near the Polish village of Przewodow, causing casualties. It marked the first time a NATO member had been directly hit during the conflict.

Border Security

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Poland and its neighboring countries have been vigilant about border security due to the ongoing conflict, with occasional incidents involving Russian munitions.

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NATO’s Response

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NATO has remained vigilant in response to incidents involving Russian missiles near Poland and has emphasized the need for continued vigilance.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks to the media during a press conference as Ukraine marks one year since Russia’s large-scale invasion, on February 24, 2023 in Kyiv, Ukraine. — Photo by Oleksandr_Gusev