Zelenskiy dismisses Nato’s suggestion missile that hit Poland was Ukrainian

  • Nato allies met in Brussels to discuss their reactions after a missile fell, on Tuesday, on the Polish village of Przewodów, near the Ukrainian border, killing two people. The incident is the first time that the territory of a Nato country has been struck during the near-nine-month Ukraine war.
  • Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, has said there is no evidence to suggest the missile strike on Przewodów was an intentional attack or was launched by Russia. Duda said there were “many indications” that the missile was fired as part of Ukraine’s air defences and “unfortunately fell on Polish territory”. Poland’s prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, told the Polish parliament that it was possible the incident was the result of a provocation from the Russian side.
  • Nato’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, confirmed that initial analysis suggested the incident was “likely caused by a Ukrainian air defence missile fired to defend Ukrainian territory” against Russian cruise missile attacks. “Let me be clear: this is not Ukraine’s fault,” he added. “Russia bears the ultimate responsibility as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine.”
  • The US president, Joe Biden, also said the missile was unlikely to have been fired from Russia due to its trajectory. Biden’s defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, said the US had not seen anything that contradicted Poland’s preliminary assessment that Tuesday evening’s missile was the result of a Ukrainian air defence missile.
  • Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has said he is convinced that the missile was not Ukrainian. Speaking to reporters, Zelenskiy said he had received reports from the command of Ukraine’s armed forces and air force and “cannot but trust them”.
  • Ukraine is requesting “immediate access” to the site of the explosion in eastern Poland, a senior Ukrainian defence official said. Oleksiy Danilov said Ukraine wanted a “joint study” of Tuesday’s incident with its partners. Duda said both Poland and the US would have to agree before Ukraine could take part in the investigation.
  • The Russian defence ministry has claimed that, on Tuesday, it had not targeted anywhere within 35km (22 miles) of the Ukraine-Poland border. In a statement reported by Tass, the ministry said statements about “Russian missiles” falling in Przewodów were “a deliberate provocation with the aim of escalating the situation”. The Russian ministry claimed to have identified the wreckage as a Ukrainian S-300 from photographs.
  • The UK’s prime minister, Rishi Sunak, has blamed Vladimir Putin’s “cruel and unrelenting” war for destabilising the world economy, while calling for Nato allies to wait for the results of “a full investigation into the circumstances behind missiles falling in Poland yesterday”. The British PM and his Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau, spoke with Zelenskiy and said in a readout afterwards that “whatever the outcome of that investigation [into the explosion in Poland], Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is squarely to blame for the ongoing violence”.

Written by Alex McCurthy

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