The missile that hit Poland probably came from Ukrainian defences, according to Warsaw and NATO | Poland

Ukraine’s air defense was likely responsible for an explosion that killed two in southeastern Poland, Poland’s president said, while NATO said Russia was ultimately to blame as Moscow had sparked the war and launched the attack that unleashed Kyiv’s defences.

As fears of a dangerous escalation in the war subsided, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy insisted on Wednesday that he had “no doubt” that the missile involved was not Ukrainian.

Hours after US President Joe Biden said the missile was unlikely to have been fired from Russia, Andrzej Dudathe Polish president, said that according to information available to Warsaw, the missile was “an S-300 rocket made in the Soviet Union, an old rocket, and there is no evidence that it was launched by the Russian side”.

He added that it was “highly probable that it was fired on by Ukrainian anti-aircraft defence” and “unfortunately fell on Polish territory”.

The NATO secretary general also confirmed that while an investigation was ongoing, initial analysis suggested the incident was ‘probably caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile fired to defend Ukrainian territory’ from attacks Russian cruise missiles.

Missile hits Polish village near Ukrainian border – video

“Let’s be clear: it’s not Ukraine’s fault,” Jens Stoltenberg said after an emergency meeting of alliance ambassadors in Brussels. “Russia bears the ultimate responsibility as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine.”

But he said there was “no indication” that the missile was the result of a deliberate attack or that Russia was planning offensive military actions against NATO. Based on the preliminary analysis, there had been “no appeal to Article 4 of NATO”, he added.

Zelenskiy, however, was quoted by the Interfax Ukraine news agency as saying he had “no doubt it was not our missile”. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki meanwhile said the incident could in any case be the result of Russian provocation, telling the Polish parliament that Warsaw “cannot rule out” Russian attacks near the Ukrainian border with Poland were “an intentional provocation made in the hope that such a situation could occur”.

Morawiecki said Warsaw was still in the process of deciding whether to trigger Article 4, which allows a NATO member to call a meeting if they believe their territory or security is under threat, but it appears that this step “may not be necessary”.

The missile landed on a grain dryer in the village of Przewodów, six kilometers from the border with Ukraine, the first time the territory of a NATO member country was hit in almost nine months of war between Russia and Ukraine.

Ukraine had requested “immediate access” to the site, said Oleksiy Danilov, a senior defense official, adding that Kyiv expected its allies to provide the evidence on which they based their view that the incident had occurred. was caused by Ukrainian air defenses. Warsaw said Poland and the United States should accept such a decision.

The blast initially sparked global alarm that war could spill over into neighboring countries, but after an emergency meeting of Western leaders at the G20 summit in Bali, US President Joe Biden said that the missile was probably not fired from Russia.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda has called on NATO to deploy more air defenses on the Polish-Ukrainian border and on the rest of the alliance’s eastern flank. “The situation confirms that this is the right decision and that it must be implemented quickly,” he said.


A German government spokesperson, however, dismissed the idea of ​​a no-fly zone, arguing it would risk “further escalation” and a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO. The Ministry of Defense said that Berlin would offer support to Polish air defense.

Russia, which launched a wave of missiles targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure on Tuesday, said the blast was caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile. His strikes were no closer than 35 km (22 miles) from the Polish border, he said.

The Defense Ministry said photos from the scene had been “unequivocally identified by Russian defense industry specialists as elements of an anti-aircraft guided missile from the S-300 air defense system of Ukrainian Air Force”.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said several countries, including Poland, had made “baseless claims” about Russia’s involvement in “another hysterical and frenzied Russophobic reaction…without having the no idea what happened.”

Peskov said the reaction showed there was “never a need to rush to judgement, with statements that can escalate the situation.” He praised what he called Biden’s “restraint” in his response to the outburst.

In a tweet posted hours after the incident, Zelenskiy blamed the explosion on “Russian missile terror”. A senior adviser to the Ukrainian president also reiterated that Russia was responsible for any “incident with missiles”.

Mykhailo Podolyak said there was “only one logic. The war was started and is being waged by Russia. Russia massively attacks Ukraine with cruise missiles. Intent, means of execution, risks, escalation – all this is only Russia. And there can be no other explanation for the missile incidents.

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said the UK would not rush to judgment until the outcome of the full investigation was clear.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told reporters that the international community was working “to establish the facts. [But] the obvious point is that missiles were flying yesterday because Russia was firing over 80 missiles at Ukraine”.

Comments are closed.