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Poland demands explanation after accusing Russia of violating its airspace

Poland has demanded an explanation from Moscow after saying a Russian cruise missile aimed at Ukraine entered its territory.

“On March 24 at 4:23 a.m., there was a violation of Polish airspace by one of the cruise missiles launched tonight by the long-range aviation of the Russian Federation,” the Operational Command of the Polish armed forces said on X.

“The object flew into Polish [air]space near the village of Oserdow (Lublin Voivodeship) and spent 39 seconds in it,” Operational Command said. “It was observed by military radar systems throughout its flight.”

The report came after Ukrainian officials said Russia had launched about 20 missiles and seven Shahed attack drones targeting the western Ukrainian region of Lviv, which is near the Polish border. There were also multiple explosions reported in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

The head of the Lviv regional military administration, Maksym Kozytskyi, said that Russia hit Ukrainian critical infrastructure in the western Lviv region.

“Preliminarily, there were two hits on the same critical infrastructure facility that the invaders had targeted overnight,” Kozytskyi said on Telegram.

Operational Command said on X that both Polish and allied aircraft had been activated.

“All necessary procedures to ensure the security of Polish airspace have been activated,” the Command added.

“The Polish Military is continuously monitoring the situation on Ukrainian territory and remains on constant alert to ensure the safety of Polish airspace,” it said.

The last time Russia violated Poland’s airspace was on December 29, 2023. The Polish military said at the time “an unidentified airborne object” had entered its airspace from Ukrainian territory, and later Poland’s most senior military officer said “all indications” suggested it was a Russian missile.

Poland’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Pawel Wronski, said in a statement on Sunday that the country called on Russia “to stop terrorist attacks from the air on the residents and territory of Ukraine, and to end the war and deal with the country’s internal problems.”

Meanwhile, Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram that a series of blasts had occurred in the Ukrainian capital, with missile fragments falling in the Desnianskyi district.

“Explosions in the capital. Air defense is active. Do not leave your shelters,” Klitschko said.

He added that fire and rescue units were heading to the scene.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Oleg Racz contributed to this report

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