Russian missiles hit cities across Ukraine, including Kyiv
Three US officials said preliminary assessments showed the missile was fired by Ukrainian forces at an approaching Russian missile.
KYIV, Ukraine — Poland said early Wednesday that a Russian-made missile had crashed in the east of the country, killing two people, although US President Joe Biden said it was “unlikely possible” “It was fired from Russia.
The explosion, which Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy called “a very significant escalation,” prompted Biden to call an emergency meeting of G-7 and NATO leaders. A deliberate hostile attack on NATO member Poland could trigger a collective military response by the alliance.
But important questions surrounding the circumstances of the missile launch remain amid confusion caused by a series of intense Russian air strikes over the nearby border in Ukraine, none more important than who fired it. . Russia denies any involvement in the explosion in Poland.
Three US officials said preliminary assessments showed the missile was fired by Ukrainian forces at an oncoming Russian missile as a salvo crushed Ukraine’s electrical infrastructure on Tuesday. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
That assessment and Biden’s comments at the G20 summit in Indonesia contradict earlier information Tuesday from a senior US intelligence official who told the AP that Russian missiles had flown to Poland. .
The Polish government said it was investigating and improving the military’s readiness. Biden pledged to support the Polish investigation.
A statement from the Polish Foreign Ministry identified the weapon as manufactured in Russia. President Andrzej Duda was more cautious, saying it was “most likely” Russian-made but its origin was still being verified.
“We are acting calmly,” Duda said. “This is a difficult situation.”
Biden’s decision to call an emergency meeting upset the schedule for the final day of the Group of 20 meeting in Indonesia.
Biden, who was woken up overnight by staff to news of the missile while attending the summit, phoned Polish President Andrzej Duda to express his condolences. On Twitter, Biden promised “the full US support and support for the Polish investigation,” and “reaffirmed the unwavering commitment of the United States to NATO.”
Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg convened a meeting of the alliance’s envoys in Brussels. The United Nations Security Council was also scheduled to meet on Wednesday for a previously scheduled briefing on the situation in Ukraine. The strike in Poland will certainly be raised.
The Polish statement did not mention whether the attack could have been by mistake or whether the missile could have been knocked out by Ukrainian defenses.
In their statements, Poland and NATO used language that indicated they did not consider the missile explosion a deliberate Russian attack, at least for the time being. A NATO statement called it a “tragic incident.”
If Russia deliberately targets Poland, it risks drawing a 30-nation coalition into the conflict at a time when it is already struggling to fend off Ukrainian forces.
Polish media reported that the strike took place in a grain drying area in Przewodów, a village near the border with Ukraine.
The Russian Defense Ministry denied being behind “any attack on targets near the Ukraine-Poland border” and said in a statement that the photos of purported damage “have nothing to do with it.” to Russian weapons.
Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau summoned the Russian ambassador and “demanded an immediate detailed explanation”, the government said.
The attack came to light as Russia hit Ukraine’s energy facilities with its largest-ever missile salvo, hitting targets across the country and causing widespread power outages.
The attack also affected neighboring Moldova. An official said they had reported widespread power outages after strikes cut the main power line supplying the small country.
The missile attacks plunged much of Ukraine into darkness and drew defiance from Zelenskyy, who swung his fist and declared: “We will survive anything.”
In his nightly address, the Ukrainian leader said the strike in Poland was proof that “terrorism is not limited by our national borders”.
“We need to put the terrorist in his rightful place. The more Russia feels unpunished, the more threat there is to everyone within the range of Russian missiles,” Zelenskyy said.
He said Russia had fired at least 85 missiles, most of which targeted its energy facilities and caused power outages in many cities.
Ukraine’s energy minister said the attack was the “largest-scale” bombardment of energy facilities in the nearly nine-month invasion, hitting both transmission and power generation systems.
Minister Herman Haluschenko accused Russia of “trying to cause maximum damage to our energy system on the eve of winter”.
The attack killed at least one person in a residential building in the capital Kiev. It follows days of excitement in Ukraine due to one of the country’s biggest military successes – the recapture of the southern city of Kherson last week.
The power grid has been devastated by previous attacks that destroyed about 40% of the country’s energy infrastructure.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has not commented on the withdrawal from Kherson since his troops withdrew in the face of a Ukrainian attack. But the staggering scale of Tuesday’s strikes speaks volumes and hints at anger in the Kremlin.
By hitting the targets late in the afternoon, shortly before dusk, the Russian military forced rescuers to work in the dark and gave repair crews little time to assess the damage. in the morning.
More than a dozen regions – among them Lviv to the west, Kharkiv to the northeast and others in between – reported attacks or attempts by their air defenses to shoot down the missile. . At least dozens of areas have reported power outages, affecting cities of millions. Authorities said nearly half of the Kiev region was without power.
Ukraine’s deputy chief of staff Kyrylo Tymoshenko said a total of 15 energy targets had been damaged and claimed that 70 missiles had been shot down. A spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force said that Russia used X-101 and X-555 cruise missiles.
With battlefield losses on the rise, Russia increasingly targets Ukraine’s power grid, seemingly hoping to turn the approaching winter into a weapon by leaving its people in darkness and cold.
The strikes come as authorities are doing their best to get Kherson back on his feet and begin investigating allegations of Russian abuse there and the surrounding area. The southern city has no electricity or water.
The recapture of Kherson dealt another blow to the Kremlin. Zelenskyy likened the recapture to the Allied landings in France on D-Day in World War II, saying both were landmark events on the road to eventual victory.
However, much of eastern and southern Ukraine remains under Russian control and fighting continues.
In other developments, the leaders of most of the world’s economic powers are moving closer to ratifying a statement strongly condemning the Russian invasion.
On Tuesday, Biden and Zelenskyy pressed G20 leaders at a summit in Indonesia to strongly condemn Russia’s nuclear threats and food embargo. More discussions and a possible vote were expected on Wednesday.
Gera reports from Warsaw; Miller from Nusa Dua, Indonesia; Balsamo from Washington. Associated Press writer Monika Scislowska in Warsaw; James LaPorta of Wilmington, North Carolina; Lolita Baldor in Washington; Nomaan Traders in New York; Joanna Kozlowska in London; Jamey Keaten in Geneva; Mike Corder in The Hague, Netherlands; Hanna Arhirova in Kherson, Ukraine; Yuras Karmanau in Tallinn, Estonia; Raf Casert and Lorne Cook in Brussels; and Adam Schreck of Nusa Dua contributed to this report.
https://www.king5.com/article/news/nation-world/ukraine/russian-airstrikes-reported-across-ukraine/507-3c98eac1-73ea-4b17-a0fe-fb27789d58ec Russian missiles hit cities across Ukraine, including Kyiv