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Poland and NATO say that the missile landing was not a Russian attack

Przewadow, Poland (AP) — Poland said Wednesday there is “absolutely no indication” that a missile that fell on Polish farmland and killed two people was a deliberate attack on the NATO country, and that neighboring Ukraine likely launched the missile in Soviet times. shell as it fended off Russian aircraft that destroyed its power grid.

“The defense of Ukraine launched its missiles in different directions, and there is a high probability that one of these missiles, unfortunately, fell on the territory of Poland,” said Polish President Andrzej Duda. “There is nothing, absolutely nothing, to suggest that this was a deliberate attack on Poland.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg agreed with this assessment at the meeting of the military alliance in Brussels.

“The investigation into this incident is ongoing and we have to wait for its results. But we have no indication that this was the result of a deliberate attack,” Stoltenberg told reporters.

The preliminary findings came after US President Joe Biden and other Western supporters of Ukraine backed the investigation and amid repeated Russian claims that it did not launch the missile.

Biden said it was “unlikely” that Russia fired the missile, but added, “I’m going to make sure we find out exactly what happened.”

The rocket fell on Tuesday near the border between Poland and Ukraine. Three US officials said that, according to preliminary estimates, the fire was fired by Ukrainian forces at advancing Russian troops. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

That assessment and Biden’s comments at the Group of 20 summit in Indonesia contradict information received earlier Tuesday from a senior US intelligence official who told The Associated Press that Russian missiles had crossed Polish territory.

Former Soviet-bloc country Ukraine maintains stockpiles of Soviet- and Russian-made weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles, and has seized much more Russian weapons as it repels the Kremlin’s invasion forces.

Ukrainian air defenses scrambled to counter a Russian attack Tuesday on power generation and transmission facilities, including in Ukraine’s western region bordering Poland. The Ukrainian military said 77 of the more than 90 missiles fired were shot down, along with 11 drones.

The Kremlin on Wednesday condemned the initial response of Poland and other countries to the missile incident and, in a rare praise for a US leader, applauded the US response

“We have witnessed another hysterical, crazy, Russophobic reaction, which is not based on any real data,” Kremlin press secretary Dmitriy Piaskov told reporters on Wednesday. He added that “all the experts immediately understood that it could not have been a missile linked to the Russian armed forces”, and noted the “restrained, much more professional reaction” of the US and its President Joe Biden.

NATO countries gathered for emergency talks in Brussels on Wednesday. There was no immediate evidence that Tuesday’s blast was a deliberate hostile attack on NATO member Poland, which could have triggered the alliance’s collective military response provisions.

Russia denies its involvement. But on Tuesday, Ukraine came under Russian bombardment across the country with a barrage of cruise missiles and exploding drones, clouding the picture of exactly what happened in Poland and why.

In Europe, NATO members Germany and Britain were among those who stressed the need for a full investigation. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned against jumping to conclusions “in such a serious matter.”

However, Scholz and others also placed general but not specific blame for the invasion of Ukraine on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“This would not have happened without Russia’s war against Ukraine, without the missiles that are now intensively and on a large scale shelling Ukrainian infrastructure,” Scholz said.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak echoed that assessment, saying: “This is the harsh and unrelenting reality of Putin’s war.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called it “a very significant escalation.” China, on the other hand, was among those calling for calm and restraint.

Former Soviet-bloc country Ukraine maintains stockpiles of Soviet- and Russian-made weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles, and has seized much more Russian weapons as it repels the Kremlin’s invasion forces.

The damage from the air attack in Ukraine was significant, and parts of the country were plunged into darkness. Zelensky said about 10 million people had lost power, but tweeted overnight that 8 million had since been restored and repair crews were working through the night. Previous Russian strikes have already destroyed approximately 40% of the country’s energy infrastructure.

This is what NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called a meeting of the alliance’s envoys in Brussels. The UN Security Council also planned to meet on Wednesday for a previously scheduled briefing on the situation in Ukraine.

If Russia were to deliberately target Poland, it would risk drawing NATO into the conflict.

Polish media reported that the strike took place in a grain drying area in Przewodów, a village near the border with Ukraine.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has denied it was behind “any strikes on targets near the Ukrainian-Polish border” and said the photos of the alleged damage “have nothing to do” with Russian weapons.

Russian bombing as well affected neighboring Moldova. It reported massive power outages after strikes in Ukraine knocked out power lines in the small country.

As a result of the attack, at least one person died in a residential building in the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv. It followed days of euphoria in Ukraine sparked by one of its biggest military successes, the recapture of the southern city of Kherson last week.

As casualties on the battlefield mount, Russia is increasingly turning to strikes against Ukraine’s power grid, seemingly hoping to turn the onset of winter into a weapon, leaving people in the dark and cold.


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