Zelensky on missile blast in Poland: ‘I don’t know 100 percent … what happened’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was not completely sure what happened with the missile blast that killed two people in Poland near the border with Ukraine. 

Zelensky previously insisted that the rocket was not Ukrainian and wanted evidence if Ukraine’s air defense was responsible. But he softened his position at Bloomberg’s New Economy Forum in Singapore on Thursday, saying that Ukrainian military leaders told him that the crater from the blast site suggested that a Ukrainian anti-air rocket could not be solely responsible. 

“I don’t know 100 percent — I think the world also doesn’t 100 percent know what happened,” he said. “We can’t say specifically that this was the air defense of Ukraine.” 

Representatives of NATO countries quickly gathered for an emergency meeting after two Polish people were killed in a village about 15 miles from Poland’s border with Ukraine. 

Amid a barrage of Russian missiles hitting western Ukraine following Russian forces’ withdrawal from the city of Kherson, fears grew that a Russian missile might have hit the territory of a NATO member. Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which established NATO, considers an attack on one member to be an attack on all and requires members to take actions deemed “necessary” to defend the alliance. 

But Western leaders said after the meeting that preliminary investigations show the missile was likely the result of Ukrainian defense against Russian missiles. 

Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Wednesday that it was “highly probable” that the strike resulted from Ukrainian air defense and appeared to be an accident

Zelensky said in the interview that he was “sure” that it was a Russian missile but also knew that Ukraine launched weapons to defend against the Russian attack. 

Ukrainian officials have said that the country’s military shot down more than 70 of the 100 rockets that Russia fired on Tuesday, Bloomberg reported. 

Zelensky said Ukrainian investigators are traveling to the site in Poland, and Polish officials have said they will present their evidence to the Ukrainian government. 

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also said the blast appeared to come from a Ukrainian rocket, but he blamed Russia for starting the conflict originally and causing a situation like this to occur. 

“This is not Ukraine’s fault; Russia bears ultimate responsibility,” he said. “The whole incident is caused by Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine.”

Tags Andrzej Duda Poland missile Poland missile deaths Russia-Ukraine war Ukraine air defense Volodymyr Zelensky Volodymyr Zelensky
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