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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Kyiv is Not to Blame for a Missile Attack on Poland, Says Zelensky 

Zelensky claimed that he obtained assurances from his top superiors that "it wasn't our missile"

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

POLAND: Poland’s and NATO’s leaders sought to allay concerns about a potentially dangerous escalation of Russia’s war in Ukraine by stating that a missile blast in Poland was likely an “accident.” Kyiv, however, vehemently denied that its anti-aircraft fire was to blame and rebuffed the Western leaders’ efforts.

Volodymyr Zelensky, president of Ukraine, pointed the finger at Russia for the missile strike that claimed the lives of two people in Poland on Tuesday, saying he has “no doubts” that Ukraine is not responsible for the explosion.

Zelensky claimed that he obtained assurances from his top superiors that “it wasn’t our missile.” He also demanded that Ukrainian officials be given access to the explosion site and allowed to be part of the probe.

Zelensky’s remark came after Jens Stoltenberg, the head of Nato, said Kyiv’s air defence missiles were “most likely” to blame. 

The United States and NATO strongly backed Warsaw’s conclusion that Ukraine was most likely the source of the lethal missile.

Furthermore, US President Joe Biden told reporters that “that’s not the evidence,” doubting Zelensky’s remake that the missile was not of Ukrainian origin.

The explosion occurred on Tuesday afternoon outside the remote eastern Polish village of Przewodow, located about four miles (6.4 kilometres) west of the Ukrainian border, roughly at the same time as Russia unleashed its biggest wave of missile attacks against Ukrainian cities in more than a month.

The strike, which took place during the G20 conference in Indonesia, sparked outrage worldwide, and reports of a missile explosion inside NATO member Poland’s borders stoked concerns about a potentially deadly escalation in the war.

However, Andrzej Duda, the president of Poland, stated that it was “highly probable” that the missile was fired by Ukrainian anti-aircraft defence.

There is no proof that it was launched by the Russian side, as per the information that he and his allies had about the rocket, which was an obsolete S-300 rocket built in the Soviet Union, he claimed.

In a statement to the media, Stoltenberg expressed his agreement with Poland’s conclusion that Ukrainian air defence missiles were likely to blame for the incident.

However, he added, “the primary point is that Russia bears the ultimate responsibility since this would not have occurred if Russia had not launched a vicious campaign of aggression against Ukraine.”

A “more advanced air defence system” will be sent to Ukraine, which is not a member of the alliance but does get substantial military assistance, he continued.

The US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, also claimed that Russia was ultimately to blame for the incident.

She said in a statement at a UN Security Council meeting that while we still don’t know all the details, we do know one thing: This tragedy would not have occurred but for Russia’s needless invasion of Ukraine and its subsequent missile attacks against Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure. The UN Charter is crystal clear: Ukraine has every right to defend itself from this onslaught.

Meanwhile, the top US general has issued a warning, saying that it was unlikely that Ukraine would achieve an early military triumph despite a number of effective counteroffensives in the east and south. 

Since Russia’s invasion started in February, Kherson has been the only important city to fall to Russia; Ukraine retook Kherson last week. In the east, Kyiv’s soldiers have advanced into Donestsk and Luhansk thanks to an attack initiated in September.

General Milley, the chief military advisor to President Biden, asserted that Russian victories had put Moscow “on its back” and that if it experienced defeats, it might be inclined to accept some type of political withdrawal. The top US general did not continue to discuss the specifics of that deal, though.

This week, President Zelensky delivered a 10-point peace plan to the G20 summit delegates in Bali, describing nuclear safety guarantees, the removal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory, and reparations and justice for “Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.”

Also Read: G20 Talks’ Final Day Disrupted as Emergency Meeting Called over Poland Blasts

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