According to Poland and NATO, the missile landing was not a Russian attack.

Poland said Wednesday that there is “absolutely no indication” that a missile that landed in Polish farmland, killing two people, was an intentional attack on the NATO country, and that neighbor Ukraine most likely launched the Soviet-era projectile in response to a Russian air assault that crippled its power grid.

“Ukraine’s defense was launching missiles in various directions, and one of these missiles unfortunately fell on Polish territory,” said Polish President Andrzej Duda. “There is absolutely nothing to suggest that it was a deliberate attack on Poland.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg agreed with the assessment during a meeting of the military alliance in Brussels.

“An investigation into this incident is ongoing, and we must await the results.” “However, we have no indication that this was a deliberate attack,” Stoltenberg told reporters.

The preliminary findings came after US President Joe Biden and other Western backers of Ukraine backed the investigation and despite Russia’s repeated claims that it did not fire the missile.

Biden said Russia fired the missile was “unlikely,” but added, “I’m going to make sure we find out exactly what happened.”

The missile was shot down near Poland’s border with Ukraine on Tuesday. According to three US officials, preliminary assessments indicate that it was fired by Ukrainian forces in response to an incoming Russian one. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the situation.

This assessment, as well as Biden’s remarks at the Group of 20 summit in Indonesia, contradicted earlier Tuesday information from a senior US intelligence official, who told The Associated Press that Russian missiles had crossed into Poland.

Ukraine, a former Soviet-bloc country, keeps stocks of Soviet and Russian-made weapons, including air-defense missiles, and has seized many more Russian weapons while repelling the Kremlin’s invasion forces.

Ukrainian air defenses were on high alert Tuesday in response to Russia’s attack on power generation and transmission facilities, including in Ukraine’s western region bordering Poland. According to Ukraine’s military, 77 of the more than 90 missiles fired, as well as 11 drones, were shot down.

On Wednesday, the Kremlin condemned Poland’s and other countries’ initial reactions to the missile incident and, in rare praise for a US leader, praised the US response.

“We have witnessed yet another hysterical, frenzied, Russophobic reaction based on no real data,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday. He went on to say that “immediately, all experts realized that it could not have been a missile linked to the Russian armed forces,” and he cited the United States’ and President Joe Biden’s “restrained, much more professional reaction.”

NATO countries gathered in Brussels on Wednesday for emergency talks. There was no immediate evidence that Tuesday’s explosion was a deliberate, hostile attack on NATO member Poland, which could trigger the alliance’s collective military response provisions.

Russia strongly denied any involvement. However, Russia bombarded Ukraine with cruise missiles and exploding drones on Tuesday, clouding the picture of what exactly happened in Poland and why.

NATO members Germany and the United Kingdom were among those who emphasized the importance of a thorough investigation. Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany cautioned against jumping to conclusions “in such a serious matter.”

Nonetheless, Scholz and others blamed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in general but not in particular.

“This would not have happened without the Russian war against Ukraine, without the missiles that are now being fired on a large scale at Ukrainian infrastructure,” Scholz said.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak agreed, saying, “This is the cruel and unrelenting reality of Putin’s war.”

Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, described it as a “significant escalation.” China, on the other hand, was among those urging patience and restraint.

Ukraine, a former Soviet-bloc country, keeps stocks of Soviet and Russian-made weapons, including air-defense missiles, and has seized many more Russian weapons while repelling the Kremlin’s invasion forces.

The aerial assault in Ukraine caused extensive damage, and large swaths of the country were plunged into darkness. According to Zelenskyy, approximately 10 million people lost power, but 8 million were later reconnected, with repair crews working through the night. Previous Russian strikes were estimated to have destroyed 40% of the country’s energy infrastructure.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg convened the meeting of the alliance’s envoys in Brussels. The United Nations Security Council was also scheduled to meet on Wednesday for a briefing on the situation in Ukraine.

If Russia had purposefully targeted Poland, it would run the risk of dragging NATO into the conflict.

According to Polish media, the strike occurred in a grain drying area in Przewodow, a village near the Ukrainian border.

Russia’s Defense Ministry denied responsibility for “any strikes near the Ukrainian-Polish border” and stated that photos of alleged damage “have nothing to do” with Russian weapons.

Russian airstrikes also hit neighboring Moldova. It reported massive power outages after Ukrainian strikes cut a power line to the small country.

At least one person was killed in the attack on a residential building in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. It came after days of euphoria in Ukraine as a result of one of the country’s biggest military victories, the retaking of the southern city of Kherson last week.

With its battlefield losses mounting, Russia has resorted to targeting Ukraine’s power grid, ostensibly hoping to turn the approaching winter into a weapon by trapping people in the cold and darkness.

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