Putin declares war on Poland. I mean Ukraine declares war! OMG.
Updated: Nov 17, 2022
The EU is under siege, quick hide under your bed!
More importantly, best Polish joke in history.
NATO Says Missile That Hit Poland Was Likely Ukraine Air Defense
Alliance meeting assesses fatal explosion that occurred amid Russian barrage across Ukraine
Missile Hitting Poland Was Likely Ukrainian, NATO Says
A missile that crashed in Poland, killing two people, was from a Ukrainian air-defense system, according to two senior Western officials briefed on preliminary U.S. assessments. President Biden met with G-7 and NATO leaders, as Ukraine’s war with Russia threatened to spill over.
By Daniel Michaels, Laurence Norman and Drew Hinshaw, WSJ
Updated Nov. 16, 2022 8:55 am ET
BRUSSELS—Top NATO officials said a missile that crashed in Poland and killed two people was likely a Russian-made weapon fired by a Ukrainian air-defense system, and that there was no evidence it was directed there intentionally.
“Ukraine defended itself, which is obvious and understandable, by firing missiles whose task was to knock down Russian missiles,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said Wednesday. “The Russian side is to blame for this tragic event.”
Russia unleashed one of the biggest barrages of the war on Tuesday, firing 96 missiles at Ukrainian cities after being forced to withdraw from the southern city of Kherson last week in a major blow for Moscow. A missile landed in a Polish village near the Ukrainian border, killing two farmworkers and raising fears of a wider conflagration.
“This is not Ukraine’s fault,” said North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. “Russia bears ultimate responsibility.”
NATO ambassadors held an emergency meeting in Brussels to discuss the missile incident and to coordinate the alliance’s next moves. The incident also dominated a meeting of European Union ambassadors, who unanimously agreed “that Russia bears direct responsibility for yesterday’s tragedy, for the death of two Polish citizens,” said Poland’s ambassador to the EU, Andrzej Sadoś.
The Polish deaths appear to be the first fatalities on the terrain of a NATO country to be directly linked to hostilities following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
While initial analyses of missile fragments and radar coverage of the area point to the projectile having been launched from Ukraine, NATO officials will have in mind that the country on Tuesday was defending itself against a barrage of missiles launched by Russia. The fusillade was among the biggest Russia has fired since its large-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February.
Polish officials said late Tuesday they were considering asking NATO countries to begin special high-level consultations. Those consultations, known as Article IV in reference to NATO’s founding treaty, are a step short of invoking the alliance’s mutual-defense pact, known as Article V.
However, at the NATO ambassadors’ meeting on Wednesday, Poland chose not to ask for Article IV consultations at this stage, a Polish NATO official said.
Establishing that the deadly explosion was in direct response to Russian aggression would reinforce contentions from NATO—and particularly members once under Soviet domination, including Poland and the three Baltic states—that Russia is ultimately to blame for all of the impact of the war.
NATO’s meeting Wednesday was convened hours before a planned virtual gathering of its members and roughly 20 other countries that are supporting Ukraine with lethal and nonlethal aid. The countries, known collectively as the Contact Group, are likely to face renewed pressure to increase military support to Kyiv, especially in the area of air defense.
Members have recently made helping Ukraine fend off Russia’s airborne attacks a priority, but systems are complex to set up and integrate, and no single type can target threats ranging from big, fast military jets to tiny, slow-moving drones.
Mr. Stoltenberg said that NATO was constantly vigilant against potential Russian attacks and that “a Ukrainian air-defense missile doesn’t have the characteristics of a deliberate attack” by Russia. He declined to provide details of where the missile exploded, whether a Russian missile was in the area or whether the Ukrainian missile intercepted a Russian projectile.
President Biden said Tuesday that preliminary information about the missile strike indicates that it was unlikely to have been fired from Russia and pledged to investigate the incident.
Senior Ukrainian officials had said Tuesday that it was a Russian missile that crossed into Poland.
Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council said in a tweet on Wednesday that Kyiv was ready to participate in a joint investigation into the incident and requested immediate access to the site.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Wednesday that there was “another hysterical and frenzied Russophobic reaction” in the West following reports of the incident in Poland, “which was not based on any real data,” he said.
He said the government in Warsaw could have been more restrained and professional when addressing issues that could escalate a situation. He noted what he described as the “restrained and much more professional reaction of the American side and the American president.”
Poland, Ukraine’s most vocal advocate and chief military benefactor on the European continent, readied its air-defense systems in response to the incident, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said. It also ramped up a diplomatic effort to bring more support to Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials on Wednesday called for NATO to close the airspace over Ukraine, a move that allies have previously ruled out to avoid being drawn directly into the war.
Poland summoned Russia’s ambassador around midnight Tuesday for a four-minute meeting that occurred “without any exchange of courtesies,” or handshakes, a Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman said. The government wasn’t ruling out expelling the ambassador, but also had made no imminent decision to do so, said Deputy Foreign Minister Paweł Jabłoński.
“He was there, we demanded an explanation on what Russia is doing, because Russia is conducting an aggressive war and Russia’s criminal attacks on public infrastructure is something that we don’t accept,” Mr. Jabłoński said. Poland is set to convene a security meeting at noon and formulate a response later in the afternoon, he said.
Factories located in both Russia and Ukraine have historically produced the type of missiles loaded into Ukrainian air-defense systems. “At the moment we do not have any unequivocal evidence as to who fired the rocket, investigations are under way,” Mr. Duda said.
NATO members will want to learn if Russian missiles were in the region, if Ukraine launched air-defense missiles in response, and whether any Russian missiles or fragments landed in Poland.
Speaking at a summit of the Group of 20 major economies in Indonesia Wednesday morning, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to fire dozens of missiles on Ukrainian civilian targets while the G-20 was meeting in efforts to resolve some of the problems caused by the war “showed utter contempt for the international rules-based system.”
Ann M. Simmons in Moscow contributed to this article.
Write to Daniel Michaels at firstname.lastname@example.org, Laurence Norman at email@example.com and Drew Hinshaw at firstname.lastname@example.org
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