Poland and NATO said the missile attack in Poland was a deliberate attack
Polish and NATO leaders said on Tuesday that a missile that killed two people in Polish territory may have been fired by Ukrainian forces defending their country against a Russian strike, and that the incident appeared to be an accident.
The blast occurred Tuesday afternoon outside the village of Przewodów in eastern Poland, four miles (6.4 kilometers) west of the Ukrainian border. The biggest wave of missile attacks on Ukrainian cities in more than a month.
Polish President Andrzej Duda told a press conference on Wednesday that it was likely an air defense missile launched by Ukraine and “crashed” in Poland while intercepting incoming Russian missiles.
“There is no indication that this was a deliberate attack on Poland. “Most likely it’s a Russian S-300 missile,” Duda tweeted on Wednesday.
During the conflict, Russian and Ukrainian forces used Russian munitions, including the S-300 surface-to-air missile system deployed as part of Kyiv’s air defenses.
The incident in NATO country Poland prompted ambassadors of the US-led military alliance to hold an emergency meeting in Brussels on Wednesday.
NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg also announced this The incident was the result of a deliberate attack by both sides, and there is no indication that Ukrainian forces were not at fault for defending their country from a Russian attack.
“Our preliminary analysis suggests that this incident may have involved a Ukrainian air defense missile launched to protect Ukrainian territory from Russian cruise missile attacks,” Stoltenberg said. “But let me be clear, this is not Ukraine’s fault. Russia bears the ultimate responsibility as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine.”
Stoltenberg also said there were no indications that Russia was planning to attack NATO countries in comments made to defuse tensions.
News of the overnight incident sparked a flurry of activity thousands of miles away in Indonesia, where US President Joe Biden held an emergency meeting with some world leaders to discuss the issue on the sidelines of the G20 summit.
A joint statement following an emergency meeting at the G20 was deliberately ambiguous on the incident, focusing more on dozens of strikes in the hours before the missile crossed into Poland.
Duda and Stoltenberg’s comments echo those of two officials briefed on initial U.S. assessments, which told CNN the missile appears to have been made in Russia and originated in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian military has told the US and its allies that it attempted to intercept Russian missiles during that time and near the site of the Polish missile strike, a US official told CNN. It is not clear whether the air defense missile was the one that hit Poland, but the information informed the US assessment of the strike.
The National Security Council said the U.S. has “full confidence” in Poland’s investigation into the bombing and that Russia is “ultimately responsible” for its ongoing incursion.
Polish President Duda said on Wednesday that the investigation at the site of the missile landing will continue with a joint operation with the United States. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky invited Ukrainian experts to visit the site.
Zelensky said on Wednesday that he did not believe the missile was launched by his forces and called on Ukrainian experts to take part in the investigation. “I have no doubt that this is not our missile,” he told reporters in Kyiv.
Earlier on Wednesday, Zelensky’s adviser said the incident was the result of Russian aggression, but did not rule out reports that the missile could have been launched by Ukraine.
“Russia has turned the eastern part of the European continent into an unpredictable battlefield. The intention, the way of execution, the risks, the escalation – all this comes only from Russia,” Mykhailo Podoliak said in a statement to CNN.
A spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force said on national television Wednesday that the military would “do everything” to facilitate the Polish investigation.
Earlier, Biden said after consulting his allies at the G20 summit in Bali that preliminary information indicated that the missile that landed in Poland was unlikely to have been fired from Russia.
“I don’t want to say that [it was fired from Russia] until we fully investigate,” Biden continued. “In Trajectory’s mind, it is unlikely that it was fired from Russia. But we will see.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday that Russia had “nothing to do” with the Polish missile incident and that some leaders had made statements without understanding “what happened.”
“The Poles had every opportunity to immediately report that they were talking about the fragments of the S-300 air defense system. Accordingly, all experts would have understood that this could not be a missile that has no connection with the Russian Armed Forces,” said Peskov in another interview with journalists.
“We have witnessed another hysterical angry Russophobic reaction, which is not based on any concrete evidence. High-ranking leaders of various countries have made statements without any clarity as to what exactly happened.”
Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, echoed Peskov on Wednesday, denying claims by other UN Security Council members that Russia was responsible for Tuesday’s missile incident in Poland.
“We have ceased to be surprised by your attempts to blame everything on Russia in any situation, regardless of the truth or logic,” Nebenzia told a meeting of the UN Security Council in New York.
Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas told CNN that NATO allies should “keep cool” over the incident.
“I think we have to stay calm, knowing that there can be a spillover effect, especially to very close countries. [to Ukraine]Callas said in an interview with CNN’s chief international anchor Christian Amanpour on Wednesday.
The incident happened after Russia issued a 85 missile interceptors Ukraine on Tuesday, mainly focused on energy infrastructure. The bombing caused a city blackout and 10 million people lost power across the country. Subsequently, Zelenskiy restored power to eight million customers.
Ukrainians across the country are expected to experience scheduled and unscheduled power outages on Wednesday.
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