Poland: 2 killed as 'Russian-made missile' hits eastern part of country amid war in Ukraine
Russia-Ukraine war: Poland claimed early on Wednesday that a "Russian-made missile" had struck the country's eastern region, killing two people in the explosion. According to reports, this was the first time Russian weapons struck a NATO nation since the onset of war in Ukraine in late February.
Meanwhile, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki stated that the administration is investigating the matter and also looking into increasing military readiness.
The Polish Foreign Ministry revealed the missile as being made in Russia. President Andrzej Duda, on the other hand, was more circumspect regarding its provenance, claiming that neither its manufacturer nor its exact shooter was known to the authorities. Although it is still being verified, he claimed that it was "most likely" Russian-made.
Poland seeks detailed explanation on the matter
Meanwhile, Polish foreign ministry spokesperson Lukasz Jasina stated that it has demanded "immediate detailed explanations" on the incident.
"On 15 November 2022, another hours-long, massive shelling took place of the entire territory of Ukraine and its critical infrastructure by the armed forces of the Russian Federation. At 3:40 pm, a Russia-made missile dropped on the village of Przewodow, district Hrubieszow, Lubelskie province, and resulted in the death of two citizens of the Republic of Poland," the ministry statement said.
It further added that Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor Zbigniew Rau summoned the ambassador of the Russian Federation to Polish MFA and demanded an immediate and detailed explanation.
US President calls 'emergency' meeting of G7 and NATO leaders
President Joe Biden called an "emergency" meeting of G7 and NATO leaders in Indonesia on Wednesday morning for consultations over the missile attack in Poland.
Biden also held a telephonic conversation with Polish President Duda early on Wednesday to express his "deep condolences" for the loss of lives.
Meanwhile, the US president promised "full US support and assistance with Poland's investigation", and "reaffirmed the United States' ironclad commitment to NATO".
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also expressed condolences over the death of Polish citizens. "Had a call with Poland Prez Andrzej Duda. Expressed condolences over the death of Polish citizens from Russian missile terror. We exchanged available info & are clarifying facts. Ukraine, Poland, all Europe & world must be fully protected from terrorist Russia," he stated.
NATO Secretary-General to hold a meeting
As these events unfolded near the Polish-Ukrainian border, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has called an urgent meeting of the alliance's envoys on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council is also expected to meet on Wednesday for a previously scheduled briefing on the situation in Ukraine. According to reports, the strike in Poland is likely to be raised during the meeting.
In their statements, Poland and NATO used language that suggested they were not treating the missile blast as a Russian attack, at least for now.
Poland’s statement did not address the circumstances of the strike, including whether it could have been a targeting error or if the missile could have been knocked off course by Ukrainian defenses. A NATO statement called it a “tragic incident.”
The strike took place at a village near border with Ukraine: Report
Polish media reported that the strike took place in an area where grain was drying in Przewodów, a village near the border with Ukraine.
The Russian Defense Ministry denied being behind “any strikes on targets near the Ukrainian-Polish border” and said in a statement that photos of purported damage “have nothing to do” with Russian weapons.
The strike came to light Tuesday as Russia pounded Ukraine’s energy facilities with its biggest barrage of missiles yet, striking targets across the country and causing widespread blackouts.
(With inputs from agencies)
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