Ukraine War: Kyiv and its allies disagree about the cause of Poland’s implosion but agree that Russia is responsible

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky continued to stress that he had no doubt that the explosion that killed two people in Poland was not caused by a Ukrainian missile.

It puts him at odds with Western allies, who concluded on Wednesday that the explosion was caused by Ukrainian air defenses trying to shoot down Russian missiles. But everyone blamed Russia for its ultimate responsibility.

“I have no doubt that it was not our missile,” Zelensky was quoted as telling Ukrainian media.

He said he believed Tuesday’s explosion was caused by a Russian missile, adding that he based his conclusions on reports from the Ukrainian military that he “only trusts”.

US President Joe Biden on Thursday questioned the Ukrainian leader’s comment, upon returning from a trip to Asia where he attended the G20 summit.

“That’s not the evidence,” Biden told reporters at the White House.

Russia bears ultimate responsibility.

NATO and Poland also concluded that the missile that crashed in Poland may have been a stray fired by Ukrainian air defences.

However, the NATO chief said Russia, not Ukraine, was still responsible for starting the war with its invasion in February and the firing of dozens of missiles on Tuesday that knocked out Ukrainian defences.

The incident occurred as Russia unleashed a barrage of missiles on cities across Ukraine, targeting the power grid and exacerbating power outages for millions, in what Ukraine says is the heaviest bombardment of the nine-month-old war.

“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 ambassadors held emergency talks on Wednesday to respond to an explosion on Tuesday that killed two people at a grain facility in Poland near the Ukrainian border, in the war’s first deadly spillover into the Western alliance’s territory.

Polish President Andrzej Duda said: “From the information we and our allies have, the S-300 was made in the Soviet Union, and it is an old missile and there is no evidence that it was launched from the Russian side.” “It is very likely that the Ukrainian defensemen shot him.”

The old S-300 missile has been used by both Russia and Ukraine.

Zelensky was quoted as saying he believed Ukraine should have already been allowed access to the site of the explosion.

“Do we have the right to be part of the investigation team? Of course,” he said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the “chaos” over accusations of Russia’s involvement in the missile was “part of a systematic campaign against Russia by the West”.

The brutality of war grips the Polish village

Hours after it seemed a stray missile killed their village, residents of Przewodow, in southeastern Poland, struggled on Wednesday to realize that the war on their doorstep could spill over into borders at any time.

For many, horror or disbelief was the predominant emotion, though some expressed relief that the missile that killed two of their neighbors on Tuesday appeared to have been an accident caused by Ukrainian air defenses rather than a Russian strike.

“Everyone has in mind that we are directly close to the border and that an armed conflict with Russia will directly expose us,” Grzegorz Drwink, mayor of Dolhobycho, which includes Przyodo, told Reuters.

Many parents in Przewodow kept their children at home on Wednesday, while others assessed damage to buildings from the blast, which hit a grain dryer on a 2,500-hectare farm six kilometers from the border with Ukraine and shook windows 15 kilometers away.

“I am terrified, people we know well have died,” Joanna Magos, a teacher of Polish at the local primary school, located just 100 meters from the blast site, told reporters.

The school’s principal, Ewa Bera, said the victims of the blast were two warehouse workers, one 58 and the other 62.

After a sleepless night, Bira decided to keep her school, located 300 meters from the blast site, open on Wednesday.

“I told the parents that I don’t see any reason to close the school, but the children didn’t come. It seems that the parents kept them at home with a heavy police presence,” she said.

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