Saturday March 25th, 2023 8:32PM

Poland says Russian-made missile fell in its east, killing 2

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

PRZEWODOW, Poland (AP) — 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.

The blast, which Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy decried as “a very significant escalation,” prompted Biden to call an emergency meeting of G-7 and NATO leaders. A deliberate, hostile attack on NATO member Poland could trigger a collective military response by the alliance.

But key questions around the circumstances of the missile launch — none larger than who fired it — remained amid the confusion caused by a blistering series of Russian airstrikes across the nearby border in Ukraine. Russia denied any involvement in the Poland blast.

Three U.S. officials said preliminary assessments suggested the missile was fired by Ukrainian forces at an incoming Russian one amid the crushing salvo against Ukraine’s electrical infrastructure Tuesday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

That assessment and Biden’s comments at the Group of 20 summit in Indonesia contradict information earlier Tuesday from a senior U.S. intelligence official who told the AP that Russian missiles crossed into Poland.

The Polish government said it was investigating and raising its level of military preparedness. Biden pledged support for Poland’s investigation.

A statement from the Polish Foreign Ministry identified the weapon as being made in Russia. President Andrzej Duda was more cautious, saying that it was “most probably” Russian-made but that its origins were still being verified.

“We are acting with calm," Duda said. “This is a difficult situation.”

Ukraine still maintains stocks of former Soviet and Russian-made weaponry, including the S-300 air-defense missile system.

Biden's decision to convene the emergency meeting upended schedules for the final day of the Group of 20 summit in Indonesia.

European Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen said participants there discussed the blast in Poland and expressed their continued solidarity with Ukraine.

“We offer our full support to Poland and assistance with the ongoing investigation. We will remain in close contacts with our partners on the next steps. We will stand with Ukraine as long as it takes,” she said.

Biden, who was awakened overnight by staff with the news of the missile while attending the summit, called Duda to express his condolences. On Twitter, Biden promised “full U.S support for and assistance with Poland’s investigation,” and “reaffirmed the United States’ ironclad commitment to NATO.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called the meeting of the alliance's envoys in Brussels. The U.N. Security Council also planned to meet Wednesday for a previously scheduled briefing on the situation in Ukraine.

Poland’s statement did not address whether the strike could have been a targeting error or if the missile could have been knocked off course by Ukrainian defenses.

Poland and NATO used language that suggested they were not treating the missile blast as an intentional Russian attack, at least for now. A NATO statement called it a “tragic incident.”

If Russia had deliberately targeted Poland, it would risk drawing the 30-nation alliance into the conflict at a time when it is already struggling to fend off Ukrainian forces.

Polish media reported that the strike took place in an area where grain was drying in Przewodów, a village near the border with Ukraine.

CIA Director William Burns was in Kyiv on Tuesday during the barrage of Russian missiles that struck dozens of targets in the country. He remained in the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv during the strikes.

Burns briefed Zelenskyy and Ukrainian officials on his meeting in Turkey with the head of Russia’s foreign intelligence service, according to another U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

Burns told Ukrainian officials that he had delivered a U.S. warning to Russia not to use nuclear weapons, the U.S. official said.

The Russian Defense Ministry denied being behind “any strikes on targets near the Ukrainian-Polish border” and said in a statement that photos of purported damage “have nothing to do” with Russian weapons.

Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau summoned the Russian ambassador and “demanded immediate detailed explanations,” the government said.

The strike came to light as Russia pounded Ukraine’s energy facilities with its biggest barrage of missiles yet, striking targets across the country and causing widespread blackouts.

The barrage also affected neighboring Moldova. It reported massive power outages after the strikes knocked out a key power line that supplies the small nation, an official said.

The missile strikes plunged much of Ukraine into darkness and drew defiance from Zelenskyy, who shook his fist and declared: “We will survive everything.”

In his nightly address, the Ukrainian leader said the strike in Poland offered proof that “terror is not limited by our state borders.”

Russia fired over 90 missiles and over 10 attack drones at Ukraine on Tuesday, Ukraine’s General Staff said in its Wednesday morning update. Ukrainian forces shot down 77 missiles and 11 drones, it said.

The Ukrainian energy minister said the attack was “the most massive” bombardment of power facilities in the nearly 9-month-old invasion, striking both power generation and transmission systems.

The minister, Herman Halushchenko, accused Russia of “trying to cause maximum damage to our energy system on the eve of winter.”

The assault killed at least one person in a residential building in the capital, Kyiv. It followed days of euphoria in Ukraine sparked by one of its biggest military successes — the retaking last week of the southern city of Kherson.

The power grid was already battered by previous attacks that destroyed an estimated 40% of the country’s energy infrastructure.

With its battlefield losses mounting, Russia has increasingly resorted to targeting Ukraine’s power grid, seemingly hoping to turn the approach of winter into a weapon by leaving people in the cold and dark.

In other developments, leaders of most of the world’s economic powers were drawing closer to approval of a declaration strongly denouncing Russia’s invasion.

On Tuesday, Biden and Zelenskyy pressed fellow G20 leaders at the summit in Indonesia for a robust condemnation of Russia’s nuclear threats and food embargoes. More discussion and a possible vote were expected Wednesday.


Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine:

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News, AP Business, AP World News - International incidents, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2023
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Poland says Russian-made missile fell in its east, killing 2
Poland says a Russian-made missile fell in the country’s east, killing two people
2:56AM ( 4 minutes ago )
NASA's mightiest rocket lifts off 50 years after Apollo
NASA’s new moon rocket has blasted off on its debut flight with three test dummies aboard
2:45AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Riverboat Ron knocks off another unbeaten team
Ron Rivera and Washington are making a habit of shocking undefeated teams
2:09AM ( 50 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Michelle Obama opens tour for new book, 'The Light We Carry'
Michelle Obama has opened a monthlong, nationwide tour to promote her new book, “The Light We Carry.”
1:05AM ( 1 hour ago )
Second boat of over 100 Rohingya lands on Indonesian beach
Over 100 Rohingya Muslims traveling in a wooden boat have landed on an Indonesian beach
1:04AM ( 1 hour ago )
Peking University locked down as China virus cases grow
Chinese authorities locked down a major university in Beijing on Wednesday after finding one COVID-19 case as they stick to a “zero-COVID” approach despite growing public discontent
12:43AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
US Navy: 70 tons of missile fuel from Iran to Yemen seized
The U.S. Navy says it found 70 tons of a missile fuel component hidden among bags of fertilizer aboard a ship bound to Yemen from Iran
10:32PM ( 4 hours ago )
Judge orders end to Trump-era asylum restrictions at border
A federal judge has ordered the Biden administration to lift Trump-era asylum restrictions that have been a cornerstone of border enforcement since the beginning of COVID-19
10:10PM ( 4 hours ago )
Killer who stabbed 4 Idaho students to death still at large
Police say the killer or killers who stabbed four University of Idaho students to death remains at large, and the violence has prompted many students to leave town
10:03PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online National News
At 97, Malaysia’s Mahathir makes last election hurrah
At 97, two-time former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is back in the election race
10:46PM ( 4 hours ago )
Leaders quietly work to ramp up pressure on N. Korea at G-20
With all the big issues dominating this week’s meeting of leaders of the world’s biggest economies — war, famine, poverty, to name just a few — there’s been little public discussion of North Korea and its pursuit of nuclear-armed missiles
8:54PM ( 6 hours ago )
Haiti fears spike in cholera cases as fuel blockade lifts
Cholera cases are overwhelming Haiti and experts warn the situation could worsen now that the country is bustling once again after a paralyzing fuel blockade that lasted two months
8:52PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP World News
Asian shares fall on jitters over missile landing in Poland
Asian shares were mostly lower Wednesday, as investors got jittery over global risks after Poland said a Russian-made missile killed two people there
10:25PM ( 4 hours ago )
Kevin Costner's 'Yellowstone' sets viewership milestones
Kevin Costner can comfortably boast of being television's biggest star right now
10:08PM ( 4 hours ago )
Trump strikes new overseas deal and raises old ethics issue
Donald Trump’s company is licensing its name to a golf resort in Oman in the first of what it hopes will be several overseas deals, raising conflicts-of-interest issues as the former president has announced a third run for the White House
9:58PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Business
Biden pledges US will work with Southeast Asian nations
President Joe Biden says the United States will work with a strategically vital coalition of southeast Asian nations to build a region that is free, stable, prosperous and secure
10:23AM ( 3 days ago )
Biden working on ties with Southeast Asia in shadow of China
President Joe Biden is participating in a conference of southeast Asian nations on Saturday in Cambodia to emphasize the United States’ commitment in the region
5:45AM ( 3 days ago )
Migrant rescue ship docks in French port amid Italy rift
A maritime rescue ship has docked in a southern French port carrying 230 migrants whose fates sparked a diplomatic row between France and Italy
3:06PM ( 4 days ago )
AP World News - International incidents
Stocks rise on cooling inflation data after up-and-down day
Stocks closed higher, boosted by more signs the nation’s high inflation may be falling off faster than expected
4:26PM ( 10 hours ago )
Stocks climb on cooling inflation, but trading remains shaky
Stocks are closing higher, boosted by more signs the nation’s high inflation may be falling off faster than expected
4:06PM ( 10 hours ago )
Stocks up on cooling inflation, but trading is still shaky
Stocks are up, boosted by more signs the nation’s high inflation may be falling off faster than expected
3:30PM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Russian airstrikes reported in cities across Ukraine
Russian airstrikes targeting energy and other facilities are rocking Ukraine from east to west
11:03AM ( 15 hours ago )
Shops in Iran, including Grand Bazaar, close over protests
Iranian shops in Tehran’s historic Grand Bazaar and elsewhere across the country have closed their doors amid protests gripping the nation
10:22AM ( 16 hours ago )
G-20 to hold tough on Russia, urge end to Ukraine war
Leaders of the world's largest economies remain divided over Russia's invasion of Ukraine but appear prepared to convey a strong message from most condemning the war
9:55AM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Business - Utilities
NASA's mightiest rocket lifts off 50 years after Apollo
NASA’s new moon rocket has blasted off on its debut flight with three test dummies aboard
2:45AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Riverboat Ron knocks off another unbeaten team
Ron Rivera and Washington are making a habit of shocking undefeated teams
2:09AM ( 51 minutes ago )
Poland: Russian-made missile fell on our country, killing 2
Poland says a Russian-made missile fell in the country’s east, killing two people
2:01AM ( 59 minutes ago )
Toyota shows new Prius hybrid with more power, range, style
The new Toyota gas-electric Prius hybrid not only comes with more power, acceleration and driving range
1:51AM ( 1 hour ago )
No. 6 Kansas rallies late to beat No. 7 Duke 69-64
Jalen Wilson scored a career-high 25 points and Gradey Dick made three crucial baskets in the final 2 1/2 minutes to lead No. 6 Kansas past No. 7 Duke 69-64
1:37AM ( 1 hour ago )