Belarus claims it shot down a Ukrainian missile which entered its airspace

A Ukrainian missile was intercepted by Belarus's air defence, shortly after it strayed into the country’s airspace – an assessment by Belarus' Air defence battalion concluded on Thursday.

The incident occurred between 10:00 and 11:00 local time near the small village of Gorbakha. Fragments of the vessel fell just 66 metres from a private home. No casualties were recorded.

Speaking to Belarusian media outlet BelTA, residents of Gorbakha were shaken by the noise of the explosion.

One local told reporters “I ran outside and heard [a] massive noise. I thought aircraft were flying. I thought it was war.”

Authorities investigating the event probed two possible considerations. The first was whether the missile was a stray missile, similar to the one which exploded along the Polish side of the Poland-Ukraine border. The second was whether Belarus' air defence shot down the missile. Minsk evaluated that the latter was the more likely outcome.

"The situation is similar to the one that happened quite recently with the hit of the same rocket on the territory of Poland. Residents have absolutely nothing to worry about," Oleg Konovalov military commissar of the Brest region told reporters.