The situation involving the missile attack on Poland may be a sign of difficulties with Western air defense systems’ capacity to stop Russian cruise missiles. Everything is dependent on how close and quickly air targets can be countered.
At the same time, the event in Poland was probably an effort to “test” the NATO air defense system’s weaknesses. Oleksandr Kovalenko, a military and political observer with the Information Resistance group, said this to Channel 24.
Russians could have tested NATO air defense
When discussing the potential use of Russian cruise missiles, the expert pointed out that, depending on the modification, they may go a distance of between 2000 and 5000 kilometers. The extent of access to NATO nations’ air defense spaces is also a subject of discussion.
“We are only talking a few kilometers in the case of Poland, but this was significantly far for NATO air defense, specifically the Patriot missile system, to respond. We saw Russian shelling of Kharkiv from the Belgorod region, and Ukrainian air defense is unable to counteract this threat since there is not enough distance”, the observer said.
According to the expert, the Polish air defense has a similar challenge because it is unable to “respond” promptly.
“The air defense would undoubtedly “figure out” this item if we were talking about a long distance, such as 50 kilometers, and it would be destroyed. The Polish event showed that NATO air defense has the same weaknesses as any other air defense in Russia and Ukraine at a depth of several kilometers”, the analyst concluded.
Given that Russia had no chance to learn about the efficiency and speed of these weapons’ reactions, if Russian missiles had struck Poland, it may have been an attempt to “test” their capabilities and features.
Poland was hit by Russian missiles: what is known
Two missiles reportedly fell in the village of Przewodów, which is close to the Ukrainian border, on November 15, according to Polish media. It is preliminary known about at least 2 dead.
According to Russian propaganda media, the Russian Defense Ministry said that “this is an open provocation”. The invaders highlight that “there were no Russian means of destruction strikes on targets near the Ukrainian-Polish state border.”
On November 16, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reported that a Ukrainian missile that had been fired by air defense forces to intercept a deadly Russian missile had landed in Poland. According to media reports, this opinion is shared by US President Joe Biden. The Secretary General of NATO emphasized that Ukraine was not to blame for what happened at the same moment. Russia is to blame for the deaths of two people, Mr Stoltenberg said.