Tragedy Uncovered: Ukraine Unintentionally Bombs Poland
(ConservativeSense.com) – Russia invaded Ukraine nearly nine months ago, and instead of the anticipated three-day defeat with Russian troops marching through Kyiv, the small nation has resisted and even driven back the invaders in areas. Yet, there have been terrible prices to pay, and on Tuesday, November 15, it seemed the cost might become unimaginably high when a missile dropped on a small town in Poland, killing two people. Suddenly, the world seemed on the brink of war.
Poland is one of 30 countries in the North American Treaty Organization (NATO), which includes a collective defense pact among member nations. Article 5 says an intentional attack on any alliance member is equivalent to an attack on all of them. So, until Polish authorities and NATO operatives with US assistance determined the Soviet-made missile was seemingly fired from Ukraine while defending against an unprecedented missile offensive launched from Russia, 30 nations stood ready to defend Poland.
A Missile Fell in Poland
Around 4 p.m. in Przewodow, Poland, a missile struck a grain dryer in the remote rural town and killed two farm workers. According to Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, a preliminary examination by Polish and US experts indicated the rocket didn’t detonate classically, but the explosion seemingly resulted from the ignition of remnant rocket fuel.
Beginning earlier the same day, Russia launched more than 100 missiles primarily at civilian infrastructure targets throughout Ukraine. In response, Ukrainian forces fired interceptors at the incoming missiles to protect lives and assets, striking more than 70% of their targets. Still, Polish and NATO investigators now believe one of those defensive missiles might have unintentionally fallen in Poland after aiming at or even hitting a Russian missile. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has adamantly denied responsibility and has requested data from the blast site.
Neither Ukraine nor Russia claimed the S-300 missile that struck the dryer, but the militaries of both countries have routinely used the armament. Built primarily for defensive surface-to-air purposes to shoot down incoming cruise and ballistic missiles, drones, and aircraft, Ukraine has used the Soviet-built systems to defend against rocket attacks launched by Kremlin forces. Yet, as Russian weapon stockpiles depleted, since at least July, they have also resorted to using S-300 systems offensively to hit targets on the ground. Russia claimed they didn’t fire missiles anywhere near Poland’s border.
Poland and NATO Members React
President Duda blames Russia even if the rocket originated in Ukraine. He attributed Ukraine’s defensive action to Russia’s launch of the unprecedented strike on Tuesday and the continuing aggression since February. He’s not alone in his sentiments.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the unintentional bombing of Poland wasn’t Ukraine’s fault. “Russia bears ultimate responsibility as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine,” Stoltenberg stated.
❝This is not Ukraine’s fault. Russia bears ultimate responsibility, as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine.❞@jensstoltenberg statement following a meeting of #NATO Allies to address the explosion in the east of Poland
— NATO (@NATO) November 16, 2022
A statement from Adrienne Watson, speaking for the National Security Council from the White House, said, in part, “it is clear that the party ultimately responsible for this tragic incident is Russia.” She added, “Ukraine had — and has — every right to defend itself,” before expressing solidarity with the people of Ukraine and condolences to the loved ones of the two people killed in Poland.
On Tuesday, soon after reports of the incident broke, reporters in Bali for the G20 Summit asked President Joe Biden whether Russia had fired the missile at Poland. The president said, “There is preliminary information that contests that,” and explained an investigation was ongoing, but trajectory data indicated it was unlikely Russia had fired the missile.
Two Polish citizens died, and a small non-combatant town experienced upheaval and devastation over the event. NATO, the US, and the G7 nations are likely checking their pulses. Perhaps even Russia is rethinking the past and potential costs of this continuing engagement which it started. Cooler heads prevailed — this time.
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