What we know about the deadly missile explosion over Poland

A missile of unknown origin killed two people in the Polish village of Przyodo near the border with Ukraine, which has come under intense Russian bombing.

Here’s a summary of what we know about Tuesday’s incident:

– what happened? –

Two men, aged around 60, were killed when a missile hit the village of Przewodow in southeastern Poland, six kilometers (four miles) from the Ukrainian border, on Tuesday afternoon.

The Foreign Ministry said the missile explosion occurred at 1440 GMT on Tuesday. Residents said the blast hit a local grain-drying facility near a school.

The blast came as Russia targeted Ukraine with a massive attack on civilian infrastructure on Tuesday that left millions of households without power.

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Russian missiles have hit cities across Ukraine, including Lviv near the Polish border.

– Who launched the missile? –

Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February, immediately came under suspicion.

But Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Wednesday that it was “very likely” that Ukraine had launched the missile. “Absolutely nothing indicates that this was a deliberate attack on Poland… It is very likely that it was a missile used in anti-missile defense, which means that it was used by the defense forces of Ukraine,” he told reporters.

US President Joe Biden, who attended the G-20 summit in Indonesia, also said it was “unlikely… that Russia launched it,” calling for a thorough investigation.

– What are the consequences? –

The explosion raised fears that NATO, which Poland joined in 1999, could be drawn into the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

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Poland is protected by NATO’s commitment to collective defense – laid out in Article 5 of its founding treaty – but the Alliance’s response is likely to be heavily influenced by whether the incident was accidental or deliberate.

Poland has put its army so far on high alert following the explosion. It also summoned the Russian ambassador “for immediate detailed explanations”.

– Who said what? –

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described the missile strike as “a real statement made by Russia to the G20 summit”. Russia denied any wrongdoing and called the incident a “provocation”.

Western leaders held an “emergency round table” on the sidelines of the G-20 summit on Wednesday.

They expressed their solidarity with Poland but agreed that it was necessary to exercise caution pending an investigation into the source of the explosion.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said that member states were consulting on the situation, and tweeted that “it is important to prove all the facts.”

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