the main points
- Two people were killed on Tuesday when a rocket explosion hit a Polish village near the Ukrainian border.
- After initial reports that Russia was behind the blast, NATO said it was likely caused by Ukrainian air defenses.
- Ukraine maintains that there is still a Russian “trace” behind the attack.
“This is not Ukraine’s fault. Russia bears ultimate responsibility as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg did not announce any immediate NATO responses to the explosion. source: aap / Oliver Husslett
NATO ambassadors were holding emergency talks to respond to Tuesday’s blast the first deadly spillover of the war into the territory of the Western Military Alliance.
The incident occurred as Russia was firing dozens of missiles at cities across Ukraine, in what Kyiv described as the heaviest such blow in the nine-month war.
More than 10 Russian missiles hit critical infrastructure surrounding the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. source: aap / Buffalo Palamarchuk
Kyiv says it has shot down most of the incoming Russian missiles with its air defense systems. Ukraine’s Volyn region, just across the border with Poland, was one of many areas that Ukraine says have been targeted by Russian attacks nationwide.
Hours after the incident, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky blamed “Russian missile terrorism,” and Kyiv on Wednesday did not appear willing to admit its missile was involved. Oleksey Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said Kyiv wanted access to the site and still saw a Russian “trace” behind the attack.
Police officers secure access to the site of the explosion in the village of Przewodow, Poland. source: GT / Artur Widak
However, the news that officials had concluded the missile was Ukrainian brought some relief to the residents of the Polish village hit by the missile, who said they feared being drawn into the war.
Some Western leaders suggested at the G-20 summit in Indonesia that no matter who launched the missile, Russia and President Vladimir Putin would eventually bear responsibility for an accident caused by its invasion.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrives ahead of an emergency meeting of leaders at the G20 summit in Bali. source: GT / Leon Neil
“They stressed that regardless of the outcome of this investigation, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is directly responsible for the ongoing violence,” British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s office said after a meeting between Sunak and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of the summit.
The barrage echoed Moscow’s pattern of long-range missile barrages after battlefield losses in Ukraine’s ongoing counteroffensive to the east and south.
71-year-old Vasily Ontura inspects a destroyed house in the Pokrovsky Posad village of Kherson. source: GT / Annual law
In Kherson, residents who gathered in the central square on Wednesday for mobile phone cards and humanitarian aid did not notice the explosions of Russian artillery shelling towards the city. Several crashes could be heard three to four kilometers away.
Power outage schedules in the western Lviv region have been extended to cover all hours of the day, district governor Maksim Kozitsky wrote on Telegram on Wednesday.