Polish president kills two in Ukraine missiles to defend against Russian aggression | CNN

BALI, Indonesia CNN — Polish President Andrzej Duda said Tuesday that the missile that killed two people in eastern Poland was likely launched by Ukrainian forces defending against a wave of Russian missile strikes, and that the incident appeared to be an accident. “There is no indication that this was a deliberate attack on Poland. Perhaps it was a Russian-made S-300 rocket,” Duda said in a tweet on Wednesday. He later told a press conference that it was “probably” a Ukrainian air defense missile and that it was likely “accidentally” landed on Polish territory while intercepting an incoming Russian missile. Duda’s comments coincided with those of two officials briefed on the initial US assessment, who told CNN that the missile appeared to have originated in Ukraine, even though it was made in Russia. CNN did not confirm the type of missile that fell on Poland. Both Russian and Ukrainian forces have used Russian-made ammunition during the nine-month conflict, including the S-300 surface-to-air missile system deployed by Kyiv as part of its air defense system. The history of these older-generation weapon systems dates back to a time when both Russia and Ukraine were part of the Soviet Union. The missile landed on the outskirts of Przewodow, a rural Polish town about 4 miles (6.4 km) west of the Ukrainian border, on Tuesday afternoon. U.S. officials said Wednesday the U.S. assessment appears to have been implied by President Joe Biden when he said earlier in his remarks that the missiles were unlikely to have originated in Russia. The intelligence assessment was discussed in an emergency meeting called by Biden on the margins of the G20 summit in Bali. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also said there was no indication that the incident was the result of a deliberate attack. “According to our preliminary analysis, this incident was most likely caused by Ukrainian air defense missiles launched to defend Ukrainian territory from a Russian cruise missile attack,” Stoltenberg told a press conference after an emergency meeting of NATO ambassadors in Brussels on Wednesday. said. “But I will make it clear. This is not Ukraine’s fault,” he said. “Russia, which continues its illegal war against Ukraine, bears ultimate responsibility.” “There is no indication that Russia is preparing for aggressive military action against NATO,” Stoltenberg added. The joint statement after the G7 meeting was intentionally vague about the incident, focusing much more on the dozens of Russian airstrikes that occurred hours before the missiles passed Poland. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that three US officials said a preliminary assessment said the missiles appeared to have been launched by Ukrainian forces to intercept an approaching Russian attack. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, according to the AP. A spokesperson for the US National Security Council (NSC) declined to comment on the Associated Press report. “We have no comments and will not verify this report. As the President said today, we support the ongoing investigation by Poland to determine exactly what happened,” the spokesperson said. Earlier, Biden said it was unlikely that, based on preliminary intelligence, the missiles that fell on Poland were launched from Russia after consulting with allies at the G20 summit in Bali. “I don’t want to say that. [it was fired from Russia] Until we fully investigate,” Biden continued. “I don’t think the trajectory was launched from Russia. But let’s see.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday that Russia had “no relation” to the Polish missile incident and that some leaders made statements without understanding “what really happened”. “The Poles took every opportunity to immediately report that they were talking about the wreckage of the S-300 air defense system missiles. So, all experts would have understood that this could not be a missile that has anything to do with the Russian military,” Peskov said in a regular phone call with journalists. “We witnessed another hysterical, frenzied Russophobic reaction not based on real evidence. “Senior leaders from several countries have made statements with no idea what really happened.” The history of these older-generation weapon systems dates back to a time when both Russia and Ukraine were part of the Soviet Union. In a statement to CNN on Wednesday, an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized Russia’s responsibility for starting the war, though he did not explicitly deny reports that the missiles had originated in Ukraine. “There is only one logic to be followed,” said Mikhailo Podolyak, adviser to the Office of the President of Ukraine. “The war has begun and Russia is fighting it. Russia is attacking Ukraine with cruise missiles. Russia has turned the eastern part of continental Europe into an unpredictable battlefield. Intent, means of execution, risk, escalation – everything only happens in Russia.” “And there can be no other explanation for the missile incident here. Therefore, if an aggressor launches a deliberate and massive missile attack on a major continental European country with Soviet-era weapons (Kh-class missiles), sooner or later, tragedy will also occur on the territory of another country.” A spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force told state television Wednesday that it would “do everything” to facilitate Poland’s investigation into the airstrikes. “The Air Defense Forces repulsed the airstrike,” said Yurii Ihnat, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force Command. “What happened next – whether it was a Russian missile or this was the crashed wreckage of two rockets – needs to be investigated on the spot. And that is what is happening right now.” “What happened yesterday is clearly a result of the war,” he added. Russia fired a mass of 85 missiles at Ukraine on Tuesday, effectively targeting its energy infrastructure. The bombing caused city blackouts and caused power outages for 10 million people across the country. Zelensky later confirmed on Twitter that power had been restored to 8 million consumers. “Supply to 8 million consumers has already been restored. Power engineers and repairmen will work all night. Thank you everyone!” Ukrainians across the country were expected to face scheduled and unscheduled power outages on Wednesday. State-owned energy company NPC Ukrenergo said in a statement: “A massive missile attack on energy infrastructure and cold weather on has further complicated the situation for the power system.” “Prepare for longer outages. Stock up on water and charge your devices and power bank ahead of time to stay in touch with loved ones.”

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