There can be no blame on the army for not shooting down this object. It would simply be unrealistic for time reasons – said General Professor Bogusław Pacek on TVN24, commenting on the intrusion of the Russian missile into Polish airspace. He stated that “the army today does not have much opportunity to react to this type of incident in a very short time.”
Operational Command of the Branches of the Armed Forces announced on Friday before 11 a.mthat “in the morning hours, an unidentified aerial object entered the airspace of the Republic of Poland from the side of the border with Ukraine, which was observed by the radars of the country’s air defense system from the moment it crossed the border until the point of signal loss.” “In accordance with applicable procedures, the Operational Commander of the Armed Forces mobilized the available forces and means at his disposal,” it was written on the X website.
Chief of the General Staff, General Wiesław Kukuła reported on Friday afternoonthat “everything indicates that the Russian missile entered Polish airspace”, which it then left. – We have national and allied radar confirmation of this – he added.
Pacek: the army has drawn conclusions after previous such events
Friday’s events in south-eastern Poland were commented on TVN24 by Bogusław Pacek, retired major general and professor at the Jagiellonian University. – We know a lot, but not enough to say with complete certainty. We probably know everything about the flight itself, if it was picked up by radars, and in my opinion the information is reliable, because there is no denying that after previous experiences with Przewodowo and Bydgoszcz, the army has drawn conclusions from it. It placed what it has towards the east. On the border with Ukraine – he said.
– Therefore, it is not surprising that we managed to intercept and monitor the flight of this missile. That’s still a lot. Let’s be honest, given the current capabilities of our armed forces to catch this type of flights, which are not very large, there is nothing to worry about here. It was correct, he continued. – To be honest, the army today does not have much opportunity to react to this type of incident in a very short time, even if it was caught – he added.
As he stated, “it would take literally a few minutes to bring in some ground resources from anywhere.” – They are not exactly where the rocket was flying. You have to bring it in, and you have to perform certain activities related to targeting, identification, issuing commands and launching it. This takes much more than three minutes, so there can be no complaint against the army that it was not shot down. It would simply be unrealistic for time reasons, said General Pacek.
The rocket hit Polish territory at the same time as the Russian military carried out massive rocket fire on the night from Thursday to Friday many cities in Ukraine. The deputy head of the president’s office, Oleksiy Kuleba, announced that 26 people died and over 120 were injured.
General Pacek said that “Poland was forewarned that intelligence, or intelligence, whoever obtained this information, had advance information about a possible attack and this ordered the Polish side to prepare for this type of event and it is clear that Poland was prepared, because without it I think “It would be impossible to detect the rocket’s passage so quickly and monitor the entire flight, probably including the return.”
However, he assessed that “today we know for sure and it is no secret that Poland needs from several to a dozen or so years to be fully prepared for air defense.”
Pacek: in terms of communication, it was an exemplary activity
The TVN24 guest also assessed the communication between the army and the authorities with the public regarding the Russian missile. – You can see changes and great sensitivity, even hypersensitivity to what is happening, because I know the systems of various countries around the world and nowhere is there such a willingness of the armed forces to quickly share what they have already obtained information with the society – he said.
– There is always a delay of at least a dozen hours to give yourself time for a calm analysis. It was visible here, I think it’s also a bit of “post-Bydgoszcz” sensitivity and I think I’m not the only one who thinks so, but it was clearly an exemplary action. Both from the Operational Command, the General Staff, the Ministry of Defense and the president’s office. Poland passed the test and this is also important for the future, he said.
– We have developed a way of acting and reacting that is very professional – he said.
Objects in Polish airspace
On November 15 last year, a missile exploded in the village of Przewodów in the Lublin Voivodeship, located close to the Polish-Ukrainian border, on the day when Russian forces carried out a large-scale missile attack on Ukraine. The explosion killed two men.
At the end of April 2023 Ministry of National Defence reported that the remains of an unidentified military object were found near the town of Zamość in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, approximately 15 kilometers from Bydgoszcz. A random person came across him in the forest.
The Polish Army connects the remains found near Bydgoszcz with the events of December 16, 2022, when The Russians carried out a massive missile attack on Ukraine. They fired 76 rockets, including 72 cruise missiles. According to the Ukrainian services, 60 missiles were shot down by air defense.
The Air Operations Center then received information from the Ukrainian side about an object approaching Polish space, which may be a missile. Polish and American planes on duty were picked up, but they failed to find the missile flying several hundred kilometers through Poland. This was due to difficult weather conditions.
Main photo source: TVN24