Two missiles hit the territory of Poland, a NATO member state, yesterday, on the same day that Russia launched a barrage of projectiles against Ukraine in response to the advance of Kyiv forces in the south of the country. The accident occurred around 3:40 pm in Przyodo, in a rural area on the border with Ukraine. The missiles fell on a farm, specifically on a grain dryer, and two people were killed.
In the photos of the alleged attack that were circulated through the networks, a large crater can be seen as a result of the explosion. A senior US intelligence officer confirmed to the AP that the missiles that fell on Polish soil were Russian.
On the other hand, the Pentagon did not confirm at the time this news was published that this attack occurred or that it was the responsibility of Russia. “We are aware of media reports that two Russian missiles have landed at a location inside Poland, near the Ukrainian border,” said Defense Department spokesman Patrick Ryder. “At the moment I can say that we have no information to confirm this information and that we will continue to investigate it.”
Despite this, the Ministry of Defense itself has confirmed that its senior official, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, intends to speak with his Polish counterpart, Mariusz Puszczak, to discuss the incident.
A senior NATO official confirmed to the ABC that the defense organization is “investigating this information and coordinating as much as possible with our ally Poland.” A position similar to that taken by the US National Security Council, which responded through a statement by its spokesperson, Adrian Watson. “We saw this information about Poland and are working with the Polish government to collect more data,” he said on Twitter. “We cannot confirm information or details at this time. We will determine what happened and what steps are necessary to take.” Today, the Alliance summoned its ambassadors to a meeting “Emergency».
Having formed a crisis government, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said he had put “some military combat units” and “other forces” on high alert. Government spokesman Piotr Mueller cited a “Russian missile” as the cause of the impact, and reported on a conversation between President Andrzej Duda and his US counterpart, Joe Biden.
According to White House sources, Biden has guaranteed him “all of his support and assistance.” After hanging up on the phone with Biden, Duda spoke with the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, and with the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak.
“We are checking whether Article 4 of the NATO Treaty will be triggered”
Polish government spokesman
Mueller said: “We are checking whether Article 4 of the NATO treaty should be triggered.” Jacek Siwiera, head of the Bureau of National Security (BBN), confirmed that major services and communications systems were still active in the area of impact and reassured residents that the missile did not appear to be part of another major bombing.
If the source of the S-300 missiles – according to local media – is confirmed to be of Russian origin, it will be the first time the Kremlin has attacked a NATO member country. Aggression against a member state lets apply Article 5 alliance. In the event that it occurs, “it will be considered an attack directed against it all,” and therefore it will be forced to intervene. This will be the second time this article has been applied after the attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York.
In addition to a friendly conversation between Biden, the US president spoke on the phone with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after midnight. The White House did not give details of that conversation, but it was part of a day of intense communication at all levels of government between the United States and Poland. The State Department confirmed that Foreign Secretary Antony Blinken also discussed the tragic incident with his counterpart Zbigniew Rao. As did the US National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, and the head of Poland’s National Security Office, Jacek Swiera.
Did not wait for the reactions of the countries close to Poland. The first of them were the Balts. Latvian Defense Minister Artis Babriks expressed his condolences for this attack “on our Polish brothers-in-arms. The criminal Russian regime fired missiles that not only targeted Ukrainian civilians, but also fell on NATO territory in Poland.”
Particularly strong was the statement by Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, who called for “action” and emphasized that this fact represented a “really significant escalation”. After midnight, Pedro Sanchez spoke on Twitter: «Our solidarity with Poland and our deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the bombings. I am in contact with our European partners and NATO,” he said.