December 4, 2022

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NATO and Poland Say Missile Strike Likely Unintentional: Ukraine Updates

NATO and Poland Say Missile Strike Likely Unintentional: Ukraine Updates

attributed to him…Wojtek Radwanski/AFP – Getty Images

Przyodo, Poland – Surrounded by vast, flat cornfields, Przyodo is a small village of just 500 residents on Poland’s border with Ukraine. But on Tuesday night, this sleepy settlement becomes an unexpected center of global attention as news spreads that a missile has hit a grain silo, killing two local residents.

Twenty-four hours after the deadly explosion, access to Przewodow (pronounced pshe-VOH-doov)—consisting of two Soviet-built houses, a school, a grocery store, and a farm—was restricted to residents only. As it rained on Wednesday evening, dozens of cars and journalists who arrived at the scene were stopped by police officers.

The explosion occurred on a day when Russia Unleashed one of the largest barrages of air strikes In Ukraine since the invasion in February, nearly 100 missiles have been fired at targets across the country, primarily the electrical infrastructure.

But Russia has insisted it did not fire at targets near the Polish border, and Polish President Andrzej Duda said Wednesday that it appeared that a Ukrainian air defense missile was most likely the cause of the explosion, but the investigation continues.

A team of Polish prosecutors has been examining the remains S-300 missile Recovered from the scene on Wednesday, Zbigniew Ziobro, the Polish Minister of Justice, he said on Twitter. He added that they are receiving support from American experts.

Both Russia and Ukraine use Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air system as protection against incoming air attacks, but military officials and experts said Russia Its use is increasingly aggressive With its dwindling stock of offensive missiles.

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According to Polish media reports, the two victims of the explosion are agricultural workers. One of them, a tractor driver, had just returned from the field carrying corn when the rocket hit around 4 p.m. local time on Tuesday.

attributed to him…UGC/via Reuters

Marta Majuska, the mayor of the nearby town of Khrushov (pronounced hroo-BY-shoov), said the explosion added to the tension locals feel about the war in neighboring Ukraine.

she said in a phone interview, referring to the date Russia launched All-out invasion. “Whether these missiles will be Ukrainian or Russian, none of this information will be reassuring,” she said.

Przewodow is located in one of the poorest regions of Poland, which was badly affected by World War II. Prior to 1939, the population was divided equally between Poles and Ukrainians, including a large Jewish population. The village underwent a triple occupation, first by the Soviets, then by the Nazis, and then by the Soviets again. The Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which engaged in guerrilla warfare, was active there.

Now the region is home to more than 60,000 refugees from the war in Ukraine, the vast majority of whom are women and children.

After Tuesday’s blast, the local school principal, Ewa Bera, said psychological care would be provided to students, teachers and staff at her school.

Iona Okubinska, who owns a grocery store in the nearby town of Wisnau, said her customers only spoke of the explosion on Wednesday. She said they were worried, but not panicked.

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“Everyone is waiting for more information,” said Ms. Okopenska.