What we know about the deadly missile blast on Poland | The Citizen

A missile of unknown origin has killed two people in the Polish village of Przewodow near the border with Ukraine, which has come under heavy Russian bombardment.

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

– What happened? –

Two men aged about 60 were killed when a missile hit the southeastern Polish village of Przewodow, some six kilometres (four miles) from the Ukrainian border, on Tuesday afternoon. 

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

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

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

– Who fired the missile? –

Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February, immediately came under suspicion.

But Polish President Andrzej Duda said Wednesday it was “very likely” that the missile was fired by Ukraine. “Absolutely nothing indicates that this was an intentional attack on Poland… It’s very likely that it was a rocket used in anti-missile defence, meaning that it was used by Ukraine’s defence forces,” he told reporters.  

US President Joe Biden, attending the G20 summit in Indonesia, also 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. 

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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 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 hit “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 blast. 

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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