Poland detected in its airspace an object with the appearance of an observation balloon that flew from Belarus

Illustrative photo of a hot air balloon about 80 centimeters (32 inches) in diameter, floating in the air near Collierville, Tennessee. (Tom Medlin via AP) (Tom Medlin/)

The Ministry of Defense of Poland said on Saturday that it detected an object in Polish airspace who flew from the direction of belarusand which is probably a observation balloon.

The ministry tweeted that radar contact with the object was lost near rypina city in central Poland 143 kilometers (89) northwest of the capital, warsaw.

A search was started in the vicinity of rypin involving a helicopter, a drone and ground groups from the Territorial Defense Forces, said a press officer from the Operational Command of the Armed ForcesCaptain Ewa Zlotnickato the television network TVN24.

The object was seen on Friday around 8:30 p.m. local time near Białowieża, which is close to the border of Poland with belarus. Radar monitoring was carried out, but around 12:30 a.m. Saturday, the object was no longer visible, it said. zlotnicka in a telephone interview with the private television station.

The development reported on Saturday follows two other known incursions into Polish airspace since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which lies on Poland’s eastern border.

In November, two Polish men were killed when a missile hit eastern Poland. Western officials said they believed a Ukrainian air defense missile went astray when Ukrainian air forces tried to repel a large-scale attack by Russia.

Two military planes accompanied the Polish delegation to the World Cup in Qatar
Two Polish planes carry out an aerial military operation

Polish military and political officials are also facing questions about another object that landed on Polish territory in December but was only discovered by chance in April by a member of the public riding a horse in a forest.

The issue raises questions about the authorities’ handling of air defenses amid new risks created by the war in Ukraine.

President Andrzej Duda and the prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki they were only informed of the airspace incursion from December to the end of April.

The Homeland Security Office, a body that advises the president on security and defense matters, said Friday that its chief, Jacek Siewiera, and Duda were briefed on April 26 about the object, which the office said “may be a Russian-made cruise missile.” .”

Authorities have said no traces of explosives were found at the site where the aerial object was discovered.

Defense Minister, Mariusz Blaszczak, this week pointed to the operational commander of the armed forces as the culprit for not adequately informing political leaders about the object. Army leaders have disputed that claim, insisting they performed their duties correctly.

The political opposition has been calling for Błaszczak’s dismissal over that matter.

(With information from AP)

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