KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Poland said early Wednesday that a Russian-made missile fell in the eastern part of the country, killing two people in a blast that Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy decried as “a very significant escalation” of the war.
Serious questions about the explosion remain, including who fired the missile. Russia denied any involvement.
The Polish government said it was investigating and raising its level of military preparedness.
Zelenskyy’s comments, delivered in an evening address to the nation, came hours after a senior U.S. intelligence official told The Associated Press that Russian missiles had crossed into Polish territory and killed two people.
A second person said that apparent Russian missiles struck a site in Poland about 15 miles from the Ukrainian border.
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.”
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.
In their statements, 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.
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.
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