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What we know about the deadly missile strike on Poland

Russia says destroyed 12 Ukrainian missiles headed for Belgorod
Source: Pixabay

A missile of unknown origin has killed two people in the Polish village of Przewodow near the border with Ukraine, which has been heavily shelled by the Russian army.

Here is a summary of what we know about Tuesday’s missile strike:

– What happened? –

Two men were killed when a missile hit the southeastern Polish village of Przewodow, about six kilometres (four miles) from the Ukrainian border, on Tuesday afternoon.

The foreign ministry said the blast occurred at 1440 GMT on Tuesday. Residents said it hit a local grain drying facility, near a school.

The strike occurred as Russia targeted Ukraine with a massive attack on civilian infrastructure Tuesday which has left millions of households without power.

Russian missiles hit cities across Ukraine, including Lviv near the Polish border.

– Who fired the missile? –

Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February, was immediately fingered as a suspect.

But Polish President Andrzej Duda said there was no clear evidence of who fired the missile which was “most probably Russian-made”.

US President Joe Biden, attending the G20 summit in Indonesia, said it was “unlikely… that it was fired by Russia”, calling for thorough investigation.

– What are the consequences? –

The explosion sparked concerns that NATO, which Poland joined in 1999, might be drawn into the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Poland is protected by NATO’s commitment to collective defence — enshrined in Article 5 of its founding treaty — but the alliance’s response will likely be heavily influenced by whether the incident was accidental or intentional.

Poland is expected to request urgent consultations under Article 4 of the NATO Treaty, which is invoked when any NATO member feels their “territorial integrity, political independence or security” are at risk.

The country has so far put its military on heightened alert following the blast. It also summoned the Russian ambassador for “immediate detailed explanations”.

– Who said what? –

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the missile strike “a true statement brought by Russia for the G20 summit”. Russia has denied any wrongdoing, calling the incident “a provocation”.

Western leaders held an “emergency roundtable” on the fringes of the G20 summit on Wednesday.

They expressed solidarity with Poland but agreed it was necessary to remain cautious pending an investigation into the origin of the strike.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said that member countries were consulting the situation and tweeted that it was “important that all facts are established.”


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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