Poland hit by missile amidst Russo-Ukrainian war

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On Tuesday afternoon, a missile landed in Poland near the Ukrainian border, killing two Polish people.

Polish police officers examine the site of the explosion in the Eastern village of Przewodow that sits near the border of Ukraine (Kacper Pempel/Reuters).

Because Poland is a part of the North American Treaty Organization (NATO), an in-depth investigation is occurring into the missile landing. The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, declared that the explosion in Poland was “a very significant escalation” of the war. 

As a result, the Polish government spokesperson, Piotr Mueller, stated that Poland is raising their level of military preparedness with some military units currently being put on alert. Russia has stated that they have no involvement. 

Polish President Andrzej Duda cautiously spoke with reporters and noted that they “… do not have any conclusive evidence at the moment as to who launched this missile.” He further states, “… it was most likely a Russian-made missile, but this is still under investigation at the moment.”

The attack came as world leaders met in Indonesia for the G20 Summit.

UK Prime Minister, Rushi Sunak and Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau speak on the phone with Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Indonesia at the G20 summit on Wednesday (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press).

The investigations are ongoing, and NATO ambassadors are to meet as U.S. President Joe Biden convened an emergency meeting with G-7 leaders, as well as NATO leaders about the situation. 

The current statements as of right now note that NATO will not be treating the missile landing in Poland as a Russian attack until more information is gathered. 

The incident could evoke NATO’s Article five , which states that all members are if one alliance member is under attack. It is important to note that each country is not reliable for responding with military action individually.

Meetings took place on Wednesday, November 16 and may require subsequent investigations and conversations before any implementation of Article five. 

U.S. President, German Chancellor, Spanish Prime Minister, French President, Spanish Foreign Minister, French Foreign Minister, Canadian Prime Minister and U.S. Secretary of State learn of the missile strike in Poland at the G20 Summit (Steffen Hebestreit/BPA/Handout/Reuters).

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who chaired the Brussels gathering, said, “… there was no indication that this was the result of a deliberate attack.” He claimed the explosion that killed two Polish people near the border with Ukraine on Tuesday was likely caused by a Ukrainian air defence missile trying to intercept Russian cruise missiles.

NATO disputed claims that the missile was caused by Russian military. Polish President Andrzej Duda echoed NATO’s statement saying “Ukraine’s defense was launching their missiles in various directions, and it is highly probable that one of these missiles unfortunately fell on Polish territory … there is nothing, absolutely nothing, to suggest that it was an intentional attack on Poland”.

President Zelenskyy disputed the statements from NATO and is pushing for further investigation.

Ashley is a fifth-year student in the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education concurrent program. Now in her final year, she hopes to further studies with the goal of promoting international advocacy for educational rights. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to her vinyl records, watching films, and hiking.