Poland qualifies Ukrainian missile strike as ‘unfortunate accident’
The missile strike that hit the Polish village of Przewodow, this week, killing two civilians, was an “unfortunate accident” President Andrzej Duda said on Friday.
In an interview with local media, Duda explained that Poland should be prepared for the fact that incidents such as this, which occur due to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, may happen again in the future.
The president added that there was no way to prevent the missile from striking Przewodow, just 6km from the Polish-Ukrainian border, on Tuesday. He said he had spoken to military experts who told him that there are no anti-missile systems that could have intercepted the projectile over Polish territory in time.
Duda explained that had this been an attack on a heavily protected strategic location, it would have been shot down with anti-missile defense systems that constantly monitor whether rockets are flying in their direction. But in the case of Przewodow, it was “practically impossible” to prevent the disaster once the missile was already heading towards its destination.
According to evidence gathered by Polish, US, and NATO investigators, the incident involved a Ukrainian S-300 air defense missile which had been fired by Kiev’s forces amid a series of Russian air strikes on targets in Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has demanded that experts from Kiev be granted access to the investigation, and insisted that the missile was not fired by his forces. However, he said on Thursday that he was not “100% sure” who the rocket belonged to.
Moscow has said its forces did not strike any targets closer than 35km (21.7 miles) from the Polish border, and that images of the crash site clearly identify the projectile as a Ukrainian S-300 air defense missile.
Russian officials have described efforts to pin the blame on Moscow for the incident as attempts to trigger a direct confrontation with NATO.