Categories
Audio Sources - Full Text Articles

Polish president says missile that killed two was probably Ukrainian air defence

Advertisements
Listen to this article
2022-11-16T11:51:05Z

Two people died in an explosion in a Polish village near the border with Ukraine, firefighters said, with NATO allies investigating unconfirmed reports the blast was caused by stray Russian missiles. This report produced by Tamara Lindstrom.

A missile that hit Poland killing two people was probably a Ukrainian air defence missile and there was no evidence to suggest the incident was an intentional attack by Russia, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda said on Wednesday.

The announcement, which followed similar suggestions by the United States, was likely to ease global concern that the war in Ukraine could spill across the border.

NATO ambassadors were holding emergency talks to respond to the blast on Tuesday that killed two people at a grain facility in Poland near the Ukrainian border, the war’s first deadly spillover onto the territory of the Western military alliance.

“From the information that we and our allies have, it 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,” Poland’s Duda said. “It is highly probable that it was fired by Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense.”

Polish Prime Minister Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Warsaw might not need to activate Article 4 of the alliance’s treaty, which calls for consultations when a country considers its security under threat.

Earlier, U.S. President Joe Biden said publicly that the missile was unlikely to have been fired from Russia. A NATO source said Biden had told allies that the missile was a Ukrainian air defence missile, and a Western diplomat confirmed that this was now the prevalent theory.

The incident occurred while Russia was firing scores of missiles at cities across Ukraine, in what Ukraine says was the biggest volley of such strikes of the nine-month war.

Kyiv says it shot down most of the incoming Russian missiles with its own air defence missiles. Ukraine’s Volyn region, just across the border from Poland, was one of the many Ukraine says was targeted by Russia’s countrywide attacks.

The Russian Defence Ministry said none of its missiles had struck closer than 35 km (20 miles) from the Polish border, and that photos of the wreckage in Poland showed elements of a Ukrainian S-300 air defence missile.

Asked whether it was too early to say if the missile was fired from Russia, Biden said: “There is preliminary information that contests that. I don’t want to say that until we completely investigate it, but it is unlikely in the lines of the trajectory that it was fired from Russia, but we’ll see.”

The United States and NATO countries would fully investigate before acting, Biden said in Indonesia after meeting other Western leaders on the sidelines of a summit of the G20 big economies.

The Kremlin said on Wednesday that some countries had made “baseless statements” about the incident, but that Washington had been comparatively restrained. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Russia had nothing to do with the incident, which he said had been caused by an S-300 air defence system.

In a tweet issued hours after the incident, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy blamed it on “Russian missile terror”. There was no immediate Ukrainian response on Wednesday to the reports that Washington now suspected it was in fact a stray Ukrainian missile.

Related Galleries:

A view shows damages after an explosion in Przewodow, a village in eastern Poland near the border with Ukraine, in this image obtained from social media by Reuters released on November 15, 2022. /via REUTERS

A view shows damages after an explosion in Przewodow, a village in eastern Poland near the border with Ukraine, in this image obtained from social media by Reuters released on November 15, 2022. /via REUTERS

Police officers stand at a blockade after an explosion in Przewodow, a village in eastern Poland near the border with Ukraine, November 16, 2022. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Police officers work at the site after explosions in Przewodow, a village in eastern Poland near the border with Ukraine, November 16, 2022. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Police officers stand at a blockade after an explosion in Przewodow, a village in eastern Poland near the border with Ukraine, November 16, 2022. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to the media after an alleged Russian missile blast in Poland, in Bali, Indonesia, November 16, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Polish government spokesman Piotr Muller and Head of the Office of International Policy of the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland Jacek Siewiera walk outside of National Security Bureau after a meeting of the security committee in connection with the missile attack on the territory of Poland, in Warsaw, Poland November 15, 2022. Maciek Jazwiecki/Agencja Wyborcza.pl via REUTERS

Police block a road, amid reports of two explosions, in Przewodow, Poland, November 15, 2022. Jakub Orzechowski/Agencja Wyborcza.pl via REUTERS

Police block a road, amid reports of two explosions, in Przewodow, Poland, November 15, 2022. Jakub Orzechowski/Agencja Wyborcza.pl via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. POLAND OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN POLAND.

A Ukrainian national flag flies over the parliament building (Verkhovna Rada), in Kyiv, Ukraine, November 26, 2018. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich/File Photo

Firefighters work to put out a fire in a residential building hit by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine November 15, 2022. REUTERS/Oleksandr Gusev

Smoke rises in the distance, amid reports of two explosions, seen from Nowosiolki, Poland, near the border with Ukraine November 15, 2022 in this image obtained from social media. Stowarzyszenie Moje Nowosiolki via REUTERS

A smoke rises over the city after Russian missile strikes, amid their attack on Ukraine in Lviv November 15, 2022. REUTERS/Pavlo Palamarchuk

Local residents gather near their residential building hit by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine November 15, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Firefighters work to put out a fire in a residential building hit by a Russian strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine November 15, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Firefighters work to put out a fire in a residential building hit by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine November 15, 2022. REUTERS/Oleksandr Gusev

Firefighters work to put out a fire in a residential building hit by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine November 15, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Firefighters work to put out a fire in a residential building hit by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine November 15, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

People speak with their smartphones on a bank of the Dnipro river after Russia’s retreat from Kherson, in Kherson, Ukraine November 14, 2022. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
Advertisements