Poland, NATO say ‘no indication’ missile in Poland was deliberate attack


Bali, Indonesia
CNN

The missile that killed two people in Poland on Tuesday was likely fired by Ukrainian forces defending the country from a barrage of Russian attacks, Polish and NATO leaders said, appearing to have been an accident.

The explosion happened outside the village of Przewodow in rural eastern Poland on Tuesday afternoon, about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) from the Ukrainian border, as Russia launched its biggest wave of missile attacks on Ukrainian cities in more than a decade. a month.

Polish President Andrzej Duda told a news conference on Wednesday that it was “highly likely” that the missile was a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile that “accidentally” landed in Poland while intercepting a Russian missile within the territory.

“There is no indication that this was a deliberate attack on Poland. Most likely, it was a Russian-made S-300 rocket,” Duda tweeted earlier Wednesday.

Both Russian and Ukrainian militaries have used Russian-made munitions during the conflict, including the S-300 surface-to-air missile system deployed by Kyiv as part of their air defenses.

The incident in NATO member Poland prompted an emergency meeting in Brussels on Wednesday of ambassadors from the US-led military alliance.

The missile landed outside the village of Przewodów.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also said there was no indication the incident was the result of a deliberate attack by either side and that Ukrainian troops should not be blamed for defending their country from Russian attacks.

“Our preliminary analysis indicates that the incident was likely caused by anti-aircraft missiles fired by Ukraine to defend Ukrainian territory from Russian cruise missiles,” Stoltenberg said. “But let me be clear, this is not Ukraine’s fault. Russia bears ultimate responsibility as it continues to wage an illegal war against Ukraine.”

Stoltenberg also said there was no indication Russia was planning to attack NATO countries, in remarks that appeared to be aimed at defusing escalating tensions.

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News of the incident sparked an uproar overnight in Indonesia, thousands of miles away, with U.S. President Joe Biden convening an emergency meeting with some world leaders on the sidelines of the G20 summit to discuss the matter.

A joint statement following the emergency meeting of the G20 was deliberately ambiguous about the incident, focusing more on the dozens of attacks that occurred in the hours before the missiles entered Poland.

Duda and Stoltenberg’s comments matched those of two officials briefed on the initial U.S. assessment, who told CNN the missile appeared to be Russian-made and originated in Ukraine.

A U.S. official told CNN that the Ukrainian military told the U.S. and its allies that it attempted to intercept a Russian missile during that time frame near the site of the Polish missile attack. It was unclear whether the anti-aircraft missile was the same one that hit Poland, but the information has informed the ongoing US assessment of the attack.

The National Security Council said the United States had “full confidence” in the Polish investigation into the bombings and that Russia was “ultimately responsible” for its continued incursions.

But on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he did not believe the missile was fired by his forces and called for Ukrainian experts to join the investigation. “I have no doubt that it was not our missile,” he told reporters in Kyiv.

Earlier on Wednesday, an adviser to Zelensky said the incident was the result of Russian aggression, but did not explicitly deny reports that the missiles may have been launched by Ukraine.

“Russia has turned the eastern part of the European continent into an unpredictable battlefield. Intent, means of execution, risk, escalation — it all comes from Russia,” Mykhailo Podolyak said in a statement to CNN. “There is no other explanation for any of the missile incidents here. So when an aggressor country launches a deliberate massive missile attack on a major country in the European continent using antiquated Soviet-era weapons (Kh-class missiles), sooner or later the tragedy will be in other countries too occurred on the territory of the

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A Ukrainian air force spokesman said on state television on Wednesday that the military would “make every effort” to assist Poland with its investigation.

“What happened was that the air defenses repelled the air attack,” said Yurii Ihnat, spokesman for the Ukrainian air force command. “What happened next — whether it was a Russian missile, or the wreckage of two rockets that fell — had to be examined on the spot. And that’s what’s happening now.”

Earlier, Biden said preliminary information, following consultations with allies at the G20 summit in Bali, indicated that the missiles that landed in Poland were unlikely to have been launched from Russia.

“I don’t want to say that [it was fired from Russia] Until we investigate thoroughly,” Biden continued. “In orbit, it is unlikely that it was launched from Russia. But we’ll see. ”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that Russia had “nothing to do” with the missile incident in Poland and that some leaders made the statement without knowledge of “what actually happened”.

“The Poles reported as soon as they had the opportunity that they were talking about the wreckage of a missile of the S-300 air defense system. Therefore, all experts will understand that this cannot be a missile that has anything to do with the Russian Armed Forces,” Peskov told reporters. said in a regular call.

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“We are witnessing yet another hysterical and insane Russophobic reaction without any real evidence. Senior leaders of various countries have made statements without knowing anything about what actually happened.”

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Karas told CNN that NATO allies must “remain calm” in light of the incident.

“I think we really have to stay calm and know that there could be spillover effects, especially to countries that are very close [to Ukraine]Callas said in an interview with CNN’s chief international anchor, Christian Amanpour, on Wednesday.

“I can’t check out their warehouse, and I can’t see their [NATO members] Actually there is, but I can go to the leaders of the more NATO allies and say “please look at your storage, look at your warehouse, find what you have, and [the] The private sector is developing equipment, ‘so we can send state-of-the-art equipment to Ukraine and end this war once and for all,'” Callas said.

On Tuesday, Russia fired 85 missiles at Ukraine, mainly targeting energy infrastructure. The bombing left cities without power and 10 million people across the country without power.

Zelensky later confirmed on Twitter that power had been restored to 8 million consumers. “Supply to 8 million consumers has been restored. Electrical engineers and repairmen will be working through the night. Thank you all!”

Ukraine is expected to face further planned and unplanned power outages across the country on Wednesday.

“The situation in the power system was further complicated by a massive missile attack on energy infrastructure and cold weather on November 15,” state energy company NPC Ukrenergo said in a statement.

“Be prepared for a longer power outage: stock up on water, charge your devices and power banks ahead of time to stay connected to your loved ones.”

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