Russia Denies Striking Poland with Missiles

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Russia Denies Striking Poland with Missiles

Moscow insists a reported explosion near the Ukrainian border is not related to its military operation.

Russia has not carried out any strikes against targets near the Polish-Ukrainian border, the defense ministry in Moscow said on Tuesday, following reports of a missile striking the village of Przewodow and killing two civilians.

Some Western media outlets and politicians have claimed that Russia is responsible for the incident. However, no evidence has been provided to support such assertions.

Missile fragments, photos of which were published by Polish media outlets on the scene, “have nothing to do with Russian weapons,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Statements by the Polish media and officials about the alleged ‘Russian’ missiles falling in the area of the village of Przewodow are “a deliberate provocation in order to escalate the situation,” the Russian military added.

Poland convened an emergency meeting of its national security council on Tuesday evening, after reports that at least two civilians were killed when one or more missiles struck the village in the Lublin region, just across the border with Ukraine.

While the AP reported that Russian missiles had crossed into Poland, citing an unnamed “senior US intelligence official,” the Pentagon declined to corroborate the claim.

“I can tell you that we don’t have any information at this time to corroborate those reports and are looking into this further,” Air Force Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told reporters, when asked about the Przewodow incident.

Polish government spokesman Piotr Mueller called on the media and the public “not to publish unconfirmed information.”

Officials from the Baltic states blamed Russia and claimed that Poland should invoke NATO’s Article 5 in retaliation. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky accused Russia of “terrorism” and said NATO needed to “act” against this “attack on collective security.”

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Ukraine’s Zelenskiy blames Russian missiles for deadly Poland explosion

KYIV (Reuters) -Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Tuesday, without producing evidence, that Russian missiles had hit Poland, a NATO country, in what he called a “significant escalation” of the conflict.


Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visits Kherson, Ukraine November 14, 2022. 

“Russian missiles hit Poland, the territory of our friendly country. People died,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address.

Two people were killed in an explosion in Przewodow, a village in eastern Poland near the border with Ukraine, local firefighters said on Tuesday.

The cause remained unclear. Russia’s defence ministry denied reports that Russian missiles had hit Polish territory, describing the reports as “a deliberate provocation aimed at escalating the situation”.

In Washington, the Pentagon and the U.S. State Department said they could not confirm Russian missiles had landed on Polish territory but were investigating.

On Tuesday, Russia had launched more than 100 missile and drone attacks on Ukraine in the latest escalation of its invasion. Zelenskiy said that only about 10 hit their targets.

“The longer Russia feels impunity, the more threats there will be to anyone within reach of Russian missiles. To fire missiles at NATO territory! This is a Russian missile attack on collective security! This is a very significant escalation. We must act,” he said.

Poland is a member of the U.S.-led Western military alliance NATO, which is committed to collective defence, and the possibility that the Polish explosion resulted from an intentional or accidental Russian strike raised alarm.

“Today happened what we were warning about for a long time: We told that terror is not confined to our state borders,” Zelenskiy said.

“I now want to tell every one of our Polish brothers and sisters – Ukraine will always support you. Free people won’t be cowed by terror. Victory is possible when there is no fear. And we and you are not afraid.”

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Pentagon says can’t confirm Russian missiles struck inside Poland

WASHINGTON, Nov 15 (Reuters) – The Pentagon said on Tuesday it could not confirm reports that Russian missiles have crossed into Poland near the Ukraine border.

The briefing room at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia

The Pentagon logo is seen behind the podium in the briefing room at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., January 8, 2020. 

“We are aware of the press reports alleging that two Russian missiles have struck a location inside Poland near the Ukraine border. I can tell you that we don’t have any information at this time to corroborate those reports and are looking into this further,” Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder told a news briefing.

Firefighters in Poland said on Tuesday two people died in an explosion in Przewodow, a village in eastern Poland near the border with Ukraine. Polish Radio ZET reported earlier that two stray missiles hit Przewodow on Tuesday, killing two people, without giving any more details.

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Unconfirmed report of Russian missiles hitting Polish village sparks worries across NATO


Police block a road, amid reports of two explosions, in Przewodow, Poland, November 15, 2022.


Police block a road, amid reports of two explosions, in Przewodow, Poland, November 15, 2022.


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.

WARSAW, Nov 15 (Reuters) – The United States and Western allies said they were investigating but could not confirm a report on Tuesday that a blast in NATO member Poland resulted from stray Russian missiles, while Russia’s defence ministry denied it.

Two people were killed in an explosion in Przewodow, a village in eastern Poland about 6 kilometers (3-1/2 miles) from the border with Ukraine, firefighters said. Media reports said the strike hit a grain-drying facility.

Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are committed to collective defence, so a Russian strike on Poland could risk widening the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which began with Moscow’s invasion in February.

A NATO official said the alliance was looking into the report and was closely coordinating with Poland.

Poland was increasing the readiness of some military units and determining whether to request consultations with allies under Article 4 of the NATO treaty, spokesman Piotr Muller said. Polish President Andrzej Duda and U.S. President Joe Biden were speaking, officials said.

The Associated Press earlier cited a senior U.S. intelligence official as saying the blast was due to Russian missiles having crossed into Poland.

Polish Radio ZET attributed the explosion to two stray missiles, without giving more details.

But in Washington, the Pentagon, White House and U.S. State Department said they could not corroborate the report and were working with the Polish government to gather more information. The State Department said the report was “incredibly concerning.”

Germany and Canada said they were monitoring the situation, and the European Union, the Netherlands and Norway said they were seeking more details. French President Emmanuel Macron ordered a verification effort.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Russian missiles hit Poland in a “significant escalation” of the conflict. He did not provide evidence of the strikes.

Russia’s defence ministry denied that Russian missiles hit Polish territory, describing reports as “a deliberate provocation aimed at escalating the situation”.

It added in a statement: “No strikes on targets near the Ukrainian-Polish state border were made by Russian means of destruction.”

The Kremlin did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

Russia was pounding cities across Ukraine with missiles on Tuesday, in attacks that Kyiv said were the heaviest wave of missile strikes in nearly nine months of war. Some hit Lviv, which is less than 80 km (50 miles) from the border with Poland.

Fabrice Pothier, former head of policy planning in the NATO secretary-general’s office, told Sky TV that it was too early to say whether the possible strike was intentional or accidental.

But the events were enough to trigger NATO’s Article 4 under which Poland would call a NATO meeting “to consult each other, to assess the threat and to take concrete action,” Pothier said. NATO ambassadors were due to hold a regular weekly meeting on Wednesday.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has called an urgent meeting of a government committee for national security and defence affairs, government spokesman Piotr Muller said on Twitter.

Latvian Deputy Prime Minister Artis Pabriks said the situation was “unacceptable” and it could lead to NATO providing more anti-aircraft defences to Poland and Ukraine, a view Pothier endorsed.

“Every inch of #NATO territory must be defended!,” Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said on Twitter.

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said, according to BNS newswire: “We are discussing with our allies how to respond to what happened jointly and decisively.”

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Resources:
https://www.rt.com/russia/566589-russia-no-strikes-on-poland/
https://www.reuters.com/article/ukraine-crisis-zelenskiy-poland/ukraines-zelenskiy-says-russian-missiles-hit-poland-in-significant-escalation-of-conflict-idUSKBN2S51W1
https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/pentagon-says-cant-confirm-russian-missiles-struck-inside-poland-2022-11-15/
https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/explosion-kills-two-poland-near-ukraine-border-2022-11-15/

Opinion pieces don’t necessarily reflect the position of our news site but of our Opinion writers.

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