Poland said it had dispatched four F-16 fighter jets to its eastern border on Tuesday to protect its airspace after a barrage of Russian missile attacks on neighbouring Ukraine.
“In order to ensure the safety of Polish airspace, two pairs of F-16 fighters and an allied air tanker were put into action,” the Polish army said in a statement.
On Tuesday morning, Russia hit Ukraine’s capital Kyiv and the northeastern city of Kharkiv with a barrage of missiles.
Poland — a NATO and EU member — is a staunch ally of Ukraine as the Russian invasion nears its second anniversary.
During the last wave of deadly attacks on Ukraine on Friday, Poland said a Russian missile had passed through its airspace.
According to the Polish army, data from the radar systems indicated that the missile was in Polish airspace for three minutes.
In November 2022, a Ukrainian air defence missile fell in the Polish village of Przewodow near the border, killing two civilians.
The explosion occurred at a grain storage site near a school about six kilometres (four miles) from the border during another intensive Russian bombardment of Ukraine.
There was initial doubt about whether the missile was Russian, raising concern that NATO could become directly involved in the war as member state Poland is covered by the alliance’s collective defence agreement.