Close-up shot of the missile strike that hit Poland
Mr Biden promised on Twitter "full U.S support for and assistance with Poland's investigation" into the missile strike (Picture: Reuters).
Russia

No indication missile strike that killed two was intentional attack, Polish president says

Close-up shot of the missile strike that hit Poland
Mr Biden promised on Twitter "full U.S support for and assistance with Poland's investigation" into the missile strike (Picture: Reuters).

Poland says there is "absolutely no indication" that a missile that killed two people after coming down on farmland near its border with Ukraine was a intentional attack and that Ukraine is likely to have launched the projectile.

Kyiv's forces were fending off a huge Russian air assault that savaged its power grid on Tuesday when the incident happened.

Polish president Andrzej Duda said: "Ukraine's defence was launching their missiles in various directions and it is highly probable that one of these missiles unfortunately fell on Polish territory.

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Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, at a meeting of the military alliance in Brussels, agreed with the assessment, saying: "An investigation into this incident is ongoing and we need to await its outcome. But we have no indication that this was the result of a deliberate attack."

The preliminary findings came after US President Joe Biden and other Western backers of Ukraine had thrown their weight behind the investigation, amid repeated assertions from Russia that it did not fire the missile.

Mr Biden said it was "unlikely" that Russia fired the missile but added: "I'm going to make sure we find out exactly what happened."

Three US officials said preliminary assessments suggested it was fired by Ukrainian forces at an incoming Russian one.

Ewa Byra, the primary school director in the eastern village of Przewodow, where the missile struck said: "It was a huge blast, the sound was terrifying."

She said she knew both men who were killed — one was the husband of a school employee, the other the father of a former pupil.

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Ukraine maintains stocks of Soviet and Russian-made weaponry, including air-defence missiles, and has also seized many more Russian weapons while beating back the Kremlin’s forces.

Ukrainian air defences worked furiously against the Russian assault on power generation and transmission facilities, including in Ukraine's western region that borders Poland. Ukraine's military said 77 of the more than 90 missiles fired were brought down, along with 11 drones.

The Kremlin denounced Poland's and other countries' initial reaction to the missile incident and, in rare praise for a US leader, hailed the response of Mr Biden.

"We have witnessed another hysterical, frenzied, Russophobic reaction that was not based on any real data," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, and pointed to a "restrained, much more professional reaction" from the US.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned against jumping to conclusions "in such a serious matter", but added: "This wouldn't have happened without the Russian war against Ukraine, without the missiles that are now being fired at Ukrainian infrastructure intensively and on a large scale."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky initially called it "a very significant escalation".