Preliminary Investigation Indicates Ukrainian Missile Landed in Poland

Polish President Andrzej Duda and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that the explosion that killed two Polish citizens was probably caused by an errant Ukrainian air defense missile rather than a Russian cruise missile (Russian Cruise Missile Explodes in Poland and Kills Two; Polish Government Calls Crisis Meeting).


The initial reports Tuesday of a Russian missile killing Polish civilians created a lot of drama, allegations of a Ukrainian “false flag” operation, and loose bowels among the “World War III is imminent” set. My report, based on an early Associated Press story, was wrong. (Those of you who have followed my writing over the years know how excruciatingly painful it was for me to write that.) However, the error was not entirely that of the Associated Press. My line of thought followed that of the thread below, though not at this level of specificity.


The early reaction of the Ukrainian government, which had to know that the truth was already known to NATO and Poland, and the action of the Polish Foreign Ministry calling the Russian ambassador in for an “explanation,” led me to believe that the odds of the explosion not being a Russian missile were small.

This one one of those occasions when Twitter’s (like the MH-17 shootdown — see Malaysia Air MH-17: Vladimir Putin gets away with murder — and the Iranian shootdown of Ukraine Air Flight PS752 — see It Looks Increasingly Likely That Iran Accidentally Shot Down That Ukrainian Airliner) where the Open Source Intelligence, OSINT, community deduced the answer hours before the official statement.

Now back to the story.


Yesterday, Poland demanded an emergency meeting of NATO under Article 4, which concerns violations of “territorial integrity, political independence, or security.” In light of the conclusion that it was a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile, that meeting has been canceled. That said, the realization that the war in Ukraine presents a real physical threat to all neighboring countries was underlined by NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg, who said, “Let me be clear: This is not Ukraine’s fault. Russia bears ultimate responsibility as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine.”


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