Unknown missile lands in Poland killing two, NATO response in question

Ukraine and Russia have both issued official statements denying claims that they are to blame for the missile strike that killed two Polish villagers on Tuesday.

Graphic by Kristan Whitney

A missile struck Polish soil close to the Ukraine border on Nov. 15, killing two people in the rural village of Przewodow. This incident has raised concerns from many nations as Poland is a member of NATO and came during a Russian missile attack in Ukraine. 

Following the strike on Nov. 15, Russia’s Defense Ministry attempted to refute these accusations with a Telegram statement saying, “No strikes were made against targets near the Ukrainian-Polish state border by Russian means of destruction.” 

In a separate post, they declared that accusations and comments made by the Polish media and officials regarding the alleged fall of Russian missiles on Polish territory were, “deliberate provocation in order to escalate the situation.”

Utah Valley University International Relations professor Batybek Abdrisaev grew up in the Soviet Union and was an ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, a country in central Asia that was a part of the USSR until achieving independence in 1991. He and his students have spent ample time discussing the Russia-Ukraine War

“Many in class noticed that this happened at the time of one of the most intense missile bombardments by the Russian military forces of cities across Ukraine, including the city of Lviv, located in the western part of the country,” said Professor Abdrisaev. The professor also said it was surprising that US President Joe Biden and Polish President Andrzej Duda suggested that the missile had not come from Russia, but instead from Ukraine. 

Polish President Andrzej Duda issued a statement on Wednesday, suggesting that the blast could have been a result of Ukrainian efforts to counter a barrage of about 100 incoming Russian missiles. “We have no evidence at the moment that it was a rocket launched by Russian forces,” Mr. Duda told reporters. “It is highly possible that it was fired by Ukrainian anti aircraft defense.” 

The explosive has been identified as a Russian-made Soviet-era S-300 air defense missile. Zbigniew Ziobro, Polish justice minister, said the missile is, “used by Russian and Ukrainian armies.” Indicating that it will take time to correctly identify where it came from; Polish law enforcement and American officials are currently examining the impact site. 

Ever since the idea that it could have been a Ukrainian misfire has come into hot debate within NATO, Ukraine is also denying the blast was from their artillery. On Wednesday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared on Ukrainian TV and issued a statement that his top military commanders have determined, “it was not our missile and not our missile strike,” according to the Ukrainian news outlet, Interfax

CNBC has reported that even though Russia and Ukraine have refused to take responsibility, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced that NATO put the blame on the Russian war in Ukraine. “But let me be clear, this is not Ukraine’s fault. Russia bears ultimate responsibility as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine,” says Stoltenberg. 

Stoltenberg noted that the blast occurred, “As Russia launched a massive wave of rocket attacks across Ukraine,” and “there was no indication this was a result of a deliberate attack,” with no evidence that it came from any “offensive military actions against NATO.” 


NATO has acquitted Ukraine, and Poland has agreed to trust that the strike was an “isolated incident” as they reaffirm their support for the war-torn country. Despite the forgiving nature of the nation’s supporters, Ukraine is still standing firm that they are not responsible for the blast.

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