Day 266: US Sources Suggest Missile that Landed in Poland was Ukrainian

After a missile crossed Ukraine's border into Poland late on Tuesday killing two civilians, three US officials told the Associated Press that preliminary investigations suggested the projectile was an air-defense missile launched by Ukrainian forces

Day 266: US Sources Suggest Missile that Landed in Poland was Ukrainian
Image credit: Reuters [via Reuters]

Facts

  • After a missile crossed Ukraine's border into Poland late on Tuesday killing two civilians, three US officials told the Associated Press that preliminary investigations suggested the projectile was an air-defense missile launched by Ukrainian forces attempting to stave off a salvo of Russian attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure.
  • The incident prompted widespread speculation that the missile was fired by Russia, with some calling for NATO's article 4 or article 5 to be evoked. Leaders from the Group of Seven countries were also called into an emergency meeting while the G20 summit was underway in Indonesia.
  • Asked by reporters whether the missile was in fact fired by Russia following the meeting, US Pres. Joe Biden said: "There is preliminary information that contests that. I don’t want to say that until we completely investigate. But it is unlikely in the minds [sic] of its trajectory that it was fired from Russia."
  • On Wednesday, a NATO official speaking with Reuters confirmed that Biden later told allies that the projectile was a Ukrainian air-defense missile. Polish Pres. Andrzej Duda said it was, "probably an unfortunate incident," and that there were no grounds to believe it was a deliberate attack.
  • Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials have said that Russia's missile attacks within the country on Tuesday hit 15 energy facilities, leaving as many as seven million people in 18 regions without electricity.
  • Ukrainian officials added that one civilian was killed in each of the regions of Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk, while 17 people across the country were injured. They added that the bodies of three civilians who'd been killed earlier were also discovered in Donetsk.
  • Elsewhere, Biden asked Congress to approve an additional $37B for emergency aid to Ukraine — with $21.7B earmarked for military spending, $14.5B for humanitarian aid and $900M for health care and support services for Ukrainians living in the US. The request comes as Republicans are poised to take control of the House of Representatives after the midterms — the result could become an obstacle to future aid sought by the Democrats.

Sources: Associated Press, Guardian, Reuters, Ukrinform, and U.S. News.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by The Guardian. While the incident in Poland is unlikely to trigger NATO's article 4 or article 5, it underscores the very real risk of a full-blown Russia-NATO war in the event of an accident or a miscalculation.
  • Pro-Russia narrative, as provided by Tass. Premature statements from Ukrainian and Western officials that Russia was to blame for the incident in Poland are a deliberate provocation aimed at escalating the war. All Russian missiles had hit their targets precisely.

Predictions