Zelensky calls Russian missiles hitting Poland ‘really significant escalation’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday called the death of two people in Poland from Russian missiles a “really significant escalation” of the war between Kyiv and Moscow.
“Hitting NATO territory with missiles. … This is a Russian missile attack on collective security! This is a really significant escalation. Action is needed,” Zelensky said in a video address Tuesday.
He also said Ukraine has long warned the war could spill across borders and added it’s “only a matter of time before Russian terror goes further.”
The West is on high alert after Russian missiles — part of a wave of airstrikes on Ukraine that began on Tuesday — reportedly killed two people near a grain silo in a village on the Ukraine border after crossing into Poland.
It’s unclear whether the strike was intentional or a mistake, but it has already sparked fears of an escalation of the war in Ukraine. Russia’s Defense Ministry on Tuesday denied any strikes near the Poland-Ukraine border.
As Poland is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, an attack on its land could be viewed as a reason for the alliance to enter the war under Article 5, which states an attack on one nation is viewed as an attack on NATO as a whole.
U.S. officials have said they are concerned about the reports but still gathering information.
Russia’s widespread missile attack on Ukraine — firing what Zelensky said were 90 missiles — was aimed primarily at the country’s electrical infrastructure following an embarrassing Kremlin retreat from the key Ukrainian city of Kherson.
Though Zelensky said more than 70 missiles were shot down by Ukrainian air defenses, there was damage to energy systems, infrastructure and residential buildings, with emergency blackouts “in many cities and regions of our country.”
He added that Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine, and several other cities had suspended their heat supply. Communication and internet issues were also reported across the country, and several nuclear units at two stations were automatically disabled.
“These are calculated consequences, and the enemy knew exactly what he was doing,” he said.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called Tuesday afternoon for a NATO summit with Ukraine’s participation to discuss next steps.