Missile strike in Poland ‘probably an unfortunate accident’ used by Ukrainian air defence, says president
A missile struck the village of Przewodów in Poland on Tuesday, a few miles away from the Ukrainian border, killing two farmers and destroying a tractor. The incident is the first time a Nato country has been hit during Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Poland’s president Andrzej Duda has said the missile that landed in his country and killed two people appears to be an “unfortunate accident”.
It was highly probable that the rocket, which was Russian-made, was used by the Ukrainian air defence, he added.
There were no grounds to believe that the missile incident was an intentional attack, Duda said, or that the rocket was launched by the Russian side.
He said: “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. It is highly probable that it was fired by Ukrainian anti-aircraft defence”.
Prezydent @AndrzejDuda: Nic nie wskazuje na to, że był to intencjonalny atak na Polskę. Najprawdopodobniej była to rakieta produkcji rosyjskiej typu S-300. Nie mamy w tej chwili dowód na to, że była to rakieta wystrzelona przez stronę rosyjską. [1/2]— Kancelaria Prezydenta (@prezydentpl) November 16, 2022
Meanwhile, Ukraine wants proof.
Ukraine is requesting “immediate access” to the site of the explosion in eastern Poland, a senior Ukrainian defence official said.
Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s national security and defence council, said Ukraine wanted a “joint study” of Tuesday’s incident with its partners.
He added that Kyiv expected its allies to provide the information that provided the basis for their conclusions that the incident may have been caused by Ukraine’s air defences.
Earlier, US President Joe Biden said it was “unlikely” the missile had been fired from Russia.
The two workers were killed as Ukraine came under fire from one of the biggest barrages of missile strikes of the war.
The Kremlin had insisted it had nothing to do with their deaths.
Poland said initially that the missile that had come down at Przewodow, 6km (4 miles) from the border, was Russian-made.
Accusing Western states of a hysterical reaction, Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Warsaw should have immediately made clear the debris had come from Ukraine’s S-300 air defences.
Stoltenberg: Poland missile strike ‘likely caused by Ukraine but not Ukraine’s fault’
Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg is speaking at a news conference following the missile strike on Poland yesterday.
An investigation is ongoing but preliminary analysis “suggests the incident was likely caused by a Ukrainian air defence missile fired to defend Ukrainian territory against Russian cruise missile attacks”, Stoltenberg said.
He added: “Let me be clear, this is not Ukraine’s fault. Russia bears ultimate responsibility as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine.
There is “no indication” that the missile was the result of a deliberate attack or that Russia is preparing offensive military actions against Nato, he added.
Poland’s military was placed on high alert in the aftermath of the explosion.
The warmongers cried out for more…
The scariest thing about this incident was the knee-jerk reaction by heads of state and the media along with the number of people that immediately called for articles 4 and 5 to be invoked.
WHAT IS ARTICLE 4?
Article 4 states NATO members will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territory, political independence or security of any of them is threatened.
Under Article 4, discussions at the North Atlantic Council — NATO’s principal political decision-making body — could potentially lead to some form of joint decision or action.
Since NATO’s creation in 1949, Article 4 has been invoked seven times, most recently in Feb. 2022 when eight members sought consultations following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
WHAT IS ARTICLE 5?
If Russia was determined to have attacked the territory of a member state, the focus would then shift to Article 5, the cornerstone of the founding treaty of NATO.
The alliance was created in 1949 with the U.S. military as its powerful mainstay essentially to counter the Soviet Union and its Eastern bloc satellites during the Cold War.
The charter stipulates that “the Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.”
“They agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area,” it says.
Following an attack on a member state, the others come together to determine whether they agree to regard it as an Article 5 situation.
There is no time limit on how long such consultations could take, and experts say the language is flexible enough to allow each member to decide how far to go in responding to armed aggression against another.
Article 5 has been activated once before – on behalf of the United States, in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.