Russian to conclusions
According to multiple governments, a blast that killed two people in south-eastern Poland on Tuesday was not caused by missiles fired by Russia, easing concerns over the explosions drawing NATO countries into the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
What caused the blast?
Poland’s president announced that Ukraine’s air defenses were responsible for the blast, with the missiles fired in an attempt to shoot down Russian cruise missiles aimed at the invaded country. NATO still assigned blame for the incident to Russia, stating that the superpower’s invasion of Ukraine launched the attack which triggered the country’s air defenses. Ukraine, however, differs on the cause of the blast.
What’s Ukraine saying?
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky maintains that he had “no doubt it was not our missile.” According to senior Ukrainian defense official Oleksiy Danilov, his country requested “immediate access” to the blast site following the attack, and Kyiv expects its allies to provide evidence backing their claims that the blast was caused by a Ukrainian missile. Moscow called initial responses to the attack blaming Russia “another hysterical, frenzied Russophobic reaction … without having any idea of what had happened.”
Exonerating Ukraine Polish president Andrzej Duda declared that the blast was caused by “an S-300 rocket made in the Soviet Union, an old rocket, and there is no evidence it was launched by the Russian side.” He said that it was “highly probable that it was fired by Ukrainian anti-aircraft defence” and that it “unfortunately fell on Polish territory.” The U.S. and NATO backed up this claim, with NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg declaring that initial investigations pointed to the blast being “likely caused by a Ukrainian air defence missile fired to defend Ukrainian territory.”
Stoltenberg clarified the organization’s stance on the attacks, saying, “Let me be clear: this is not Ukraine’s fault. Russia bears the ultimate responsibility as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine.” He continued, saying there was “no indication” that the attack was deliberate, and that there was “no call for NATO article 4.” NATO’s Article 4 states that members of the organization can call a meeting if they feel that their territory or security have been threatened.