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Poland says the missile strike near the Ukrainian border was likely an accident caused by a mistake by Ukraine’s air defense

Poland said on Wednesday that the missile that killed two people in the country appeared to have come from Ukrainian air defense systems, not Russia.

The blast occurred in Poland on Tuesday near the Ukrainian border and sent a broader barrage of Russian missiles down on sites across Ukraine, raising the possibility that one of them missed its target.

But Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Wednesday he did not believe that had happened, though he still ultimately blamed Russia.

On Wednesday, after a meeting of the Security Council in his country, Duda said that the missile appeared to have come from the Ukrainian air defense system as it responded to Russian attacks, according to a statement from his office.

According to a translation by The Wall Street Journal, he said, “We currently have no evidence that the missile was launched from the Russian side.”

Ultimately, he added, Russia is to blame, as its attacks were the reason Ukraine was defending itself in the first place.

Poland says the missile strike near the Ukrainian border was likely an accident caused by a mistake by Ukraine's air defense
A map showing the location of the blast site in relation to the Poland-Ukraine border. 
Google Maps/Insider

Duda said there was no indication it was a deliberate attack on Poland, or that the missile was fired by Russia, but said the missile was most likely Russian-made.

US President Joe Biden also said that information so far indicated that the missile may have come from Ukraine.

“I don’t want to say that until we investigate it fully, but it’s very unlikely in lines of trajectory that were launched from Russia – but we’ll see,” he said after a roundtable with G20 leaders on Wednesday morning.

Three US officials also indicated to the AP that the missile came from Ukraine, citing early intelligence assessments and speaking on condition of anonymity.

A source told Reuters the same theory, saying that Biden told the G7 and NATO allies that a Ukrainian air defense missile was to blame.

A strike from Russia would have serious consequences: as a NATO country, Poland could count on other countries including the United States to offer their assistance, including possibly declaring war.

But Poland and Ukraine are allies, which means the reaction would likely be different if the missile had come from Ukraine.

Poland says the missile strike near the Ukrainian border was likely an accident caused by a mistake by Ukraine's air defense
Police officers walk near the site of an explosion in Przewodow, a village in eastern Poland near the border with Ukraine, November 16, 2022. 
Jakub Orzechowski/Agencja via REUTERS

Other countries and alliances shied away from reaching a conclusive result earlier on Wednesday.

He urged the leaders of the UK, France and Germany not to jump to conclusions.

NATO confirmed the strike on Poland and casualties, and will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday. It did not comment on the source of the missile.

Meanwhile, Russia denied any involvement, and also said that the Ukrainian regimes were to blame.

Ukraine initially blamed Russia on Tuesday, but an adviser to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry was more restrained when he spoke to CNBC on Wednesday.

He said it was a “very sensitive” issue and noted that world leaders were being deliberately cautious: “It is too early to give any definitive answers and it is too dangerous to jump to any conclusions.”


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