Poland missile strike likely came from Ukraine (updated)

BRUSSELS, 16 Nov 2022:

A missile that landed in Poland, killing two, was “likely” launched by Ukrainian armed forces at incoming Russian fire before veering off course, Nato and Polish officials said today.

Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg told a Brussels press conference that the projectile last night was most likely a Ukrainian air defence missile but said the blame lay with Russia.

“Our preliminary analysis suggests that the incident was likely caused by a Ukrainian air defence missile fired to defend Ukrainian territory against Russian cruise missile attacks.

“But let me be clear, this is not Ukraine’s fault. Russia bears ultimate responsibility as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine.”

The Norwegian politician said the explosion occurred as Russia launched a massive wave of strikes across Ukraine.

“An investigation into this incident is ongoing, and we need to await its outcome, but we have no indication that this was a result of a deliberate attack and we have no indication that Russia is preparing offensive military actions against Nato.”

His remarks came shortly after Polish president Andrej Duda and prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki offered the same conclusion at a press conference in Warsaw following an emergency security meeting.

Duda said that projectile was probably a Soviet-era S-300 missile, a ground-to-air launch system used by both the Ukrainian and Russian armies.

NUSA DUA, 16 Nov 2022:

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan today said the explosion that killed two in Poland near the border with Ukraine was due to a “technical error.”

Erdogan spoke to reporters after meeting German chancellor Olaf Scholz on the sidelines of the G20 summit on the Indonesian island of Bali.

In response to a query, Erdogan stated Scholz informed him early investigations had shown the missile that landed on the Polish village of Przewodów, near the border with Ukraine, was launched due to a “technical error.”

He said the missile needed examination to know its origin, noting it was not Russian-made and Moscow had nothing to do with the explosion.

“Russia saying this has nothing to do with them and (US president Joe) Biden saying these missiles are not Russian-made show that this has nothing to do with Russia,” Erdogan said.

The Polish foreign ministry yesterday said a “Russian-made missile” landed on the Przewodów village, killing two people.

President Andrzej Duda said it was “most likely produced in Russia.”

Biden has said it was “unlikely” the missile that caused the explosion in Poland was fired from Russia.

The explosion followed Russian airstrikes on various Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kyiv.

According to Kyiv, the Russian barrage of missile strikes mainly targeted the Ukrainian energy infrastructure. The attacks caused power cuts in much of the country.

President Biden and other G7 and NATO leaders participating in the G20 summit in Bali held an emergency meeting today to discuss the missile strike in Poland.

“We discussed the explosion that took place in the eastern part of Poland near the border with Ukraine. We offer our full support for and assistance with Poland’s ongoing investigation,” they said in a joint statement to condemn the “barbaric missile attacks that Russia perpetrated on Ukrainian cities and civilian infrastructure on Tuesday.”

“We agree to remain in close touch to determine appropriate next steps as the investigation (into the Poland missile explosion) proceeds.”

The meeting took place at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Bali, where Biden is staying.

Turkey was the only NATO member in the G20 not to attend that meeting.

Erdogan downplayed his absence, arguing that Turkey is invited to many high-level meetings but is not obliged to attend.