Initial US assessments indicate missile that landed in Poland originated in Ukraine

Initial US assessments indicate missile that landed in Poland originated in Ukraine

Updated: 2 months, 12 days, 19 hours, 21 minutes, 14 seconds ago

(CNN) — Two officials briefed on initial US assessments said it appears the missile that killed two people in eastern Poland Tuesday originated in Ukraine, even though it was Russian-made.

The missile landed outside the rural Polish village of Przewodow, about four miles (6.4 kilometers) west from the Ukrainian border on Tuesday afternoon, roughly the same time as Russia launched its biggest wave of missile attacks on Ukrainian cities in more than a month.

The officials said Wednesday that US assessment is what President Joe Biden appeared to be alluding to in earlier remarks when he said it was “unlikely” the missile originated in Russia.

The intelligence assessments were discussed at an emergency meeting called by Biden on the margins of the G20 summit in Bali and would also be a topic of conversation at a meeting of NATO ambassadors in Brussels, the officials said.

A joint statement after the G7 meeting was deliberately ambiguous when it came to the incident, putting much more focus on the dozens of Russian strikes that happened in the hours before the missile crossed into Poland.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that three US officials said preliminary assessments suggested the missile was fired by Ukrainian forces in an attempt to intercept an incoming Russian strike. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, according to the AP.

A spokesperson with the US National Security Council declined to comment on the AP report. “We have no comment and will not be confirming this report. As the President said today, we support Poland’s ongoing investigation to figure out exactly what happened,” the spokesperson said.

Earlier, Biden said preliminary information suggests it is unlikely the missile that landed in Poland was fired from Russia after consulting with allies at the G20 Summit in Bali.

“I don’t want to say that [it was fired from Russia] until we completely investigate,” Biden went on. “It’s unlikely in the minds of the trajectory that it was fired from Russia. But we’ll see.”

Both Russian and Ukrainian forces have used Russian-made munitions during the nine-month conflict. CNN has previously reported that Ukraine has used Russian-made missiles as part of their air defense system. These older-generation weapons systems date back to the period when both Russia and Ukraine were part of the Soviet Union.

In a statement to CNN on Wednesday, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky did not explicitly deny reports the missile originated in Ukraine but emphasized Russia’s responsibility for starting the war.

“There is only one logic to be followed,” Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the head of the Office of the Ukrainian President, said. “The war was started and is being waged by Russia. Russia is massively attacking Ukraine with cruise missiles. Russia has turned the eastern part of the European continent into an unpredictable battlefield. Intent, means of execution, risks, escalation — it is all coming from Russia alone.”

“And there can be no other explanation for any missile incident here. So when an aggressor country launches a deliberate, massive missile strike against a large country on the European continent with its obsolete Soviet-era weapons (Kh-class missiles), tragedy sooner or later occurs on the territories of other states as well.”

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