U.S. officials are now briefing the Associated Press that deadly explosions in Poland blamed on Moscow by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky were probably caused by missiles fired by Ukrainian forces, with President Joe Biden telling reporters it is “unlikely” Russia is responsible.
President Zelensky was quick to allege that explosions that killed two people at a grain drying plan in the Polish border town of Przewodów were caused by “Russian missile terror”, adding that “[Ukraine], [Poland], all of Europe and the world must be fully protected from terrorist Russia.”
However, three U.S. officials who “spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly” have now briefed the Associated Press that preliminary investigations suggest it was actually Ukraine that struck Poland, likely as a result of an anti-aircraft missile or missiles fired at an incoming Russian bombardment going off course.
Speaking to reporters at the G20 summit in Indonesia, U.S. President Joe Biden appeared to echo these sentiments when asked about the missiles being fired by Russia, saying there is “preliminary information that contests that.”
“It is unlikely in the lines of the trajectory that it was fired from Russia, but we’ll see,” he said, reserving final judgment until investigations are complete.
Had a call with 🇵🇱 President @AndrzejDuda. Expressed condolences over the death of Polish citizens from Russian missile terror. We exchanged available information and are clarifying all the facts. 🇺, 🇵🇱, all of Europe and the world must be fully protected from terrorist Russia.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) November 15, 2022
Initially, an AP source described as a “senior U.S. intelligence official” had claimed that “Russian missiles crossed into NATO member Poland” but, at least as of the time of publication, this narrative appears to have been retracted.
Poland, for its part, has said that the munitions which struck their territory were “most probably” made in Russia — although Russia and Ukraine share a common stock of older missiles dating from the Soviet era — and has summoned the Russian ambassador “and demanded immediate detailed explanations,” according to an official statement.
“We are acting with calm,” said the country’s national conservative president, Andrzej Duda. “This is a difficult situation.”
Russia’s official line is that attempts to blame them for the blasts in Poland are a “deliberate provocation to escalate the situation,” and that “Russian firepower has launched no strikes at the area between [the] Ukrainian–Polish border.”
⚡ @mod_russia: Polish mass media & officials commit deliberate provocation to escalate situation with their statement on alleged impact of “Russian” rockets at Przewodów.
◽️ Russian hardware has launched NO strikes at the area.
— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) November 15, 2022