Poland, NATO say missile landing that killed 2 wasn’t Russian attack

PRZEWODOW, Poland (AP) — NATO member Poland and the head of the military alliance both said Wednesday a missile strike in Polish farmland that killed two people did not appear to be an intentional attack, and that air defenses in neighboring Ukraine likely launched the Soviet-era projectile against a Russian bombardment that savaged the Ukrainian power grid.

“Ukraine’s defense was launching their missiles in various directions and it is highly probable that one of these missiles unfortunately fell on Polish territory,” said Polish President Andrzej Duda. “There is nothing, absolutely nothing, to suggest that it was an intentional attack on Poland.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, at a meeting of the 30-nation military alliance in Brussels, echoed the preliminary Polish findings, saying: “We have no indication that this was the result of a deliberate attack.”

The initial assessments of Tuesday’s deadly missile landing appeared to dial back the likelihood of the strike triggering another major escalation in the nearly 9-month-old Russian invasion of Ukraine. If Russia had deliberately targeted Poland, that could have risked drawing NATO into the conflict.

Still, Stoltenberg and others laid overall but not specific blame on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war.

“This is not Ukraine’s fault. Russia bears ultimate responsibility,” Stoltenberg said.

<p>Police officers work outside a grain depot where, according to the Polish government, an explosion of a Russian-made missile killed two people in Przewodow, Poland, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. Poland said Wednesday that a Russian-made missile fell in the country’s east, killing two people, though U.S. President Joe Biden said it was "unlikely” it was fired from Russia. (AP Photo/Michal Dyjuk)</p>

Michal Dyjuk

Police officers work outside a grain depot where, according to the Polish government, an explosion of a Russian-made missile killed two people in Przewodow, Poland, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. Poland said Wednesday that a Russian-made missile fell in the country’s east, killing two people, though U.S. President Joe Biden said it was "unlikely” it was fired from Russia. (AP Photo/Michal Dyjuk)

Before the Polish and NATO assessments, U.S. President Joe Biden had said it was “unlikely” that Russia fired the missile but added: “I’m going to make sure we find out exactly what happened.”

Three U.S. officials said preliminary assessments suggested it was fired by Ukrainian forces at an incoming Russian one. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Full story:

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