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18 Dec, 2022 12:15

Poland’s police chief reveals details about explosive ‘gifts’ from Ukraine

Ukrainian officials had reportedly assured their guest that souvenir grenade launchers were harmless
Poland’s police chief reveals details about explosive ‘gifts’ from Ukraine

Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Police General Jaroslaw Szymczyk has confirmed in a radio interview that he was slightly injured by a blast when moving two grenade launchers given to him as gifts by Kiev officials.

The explosion, which occurred inside the police headquarters in Warsaw on Wednesday, was first reported by the Polish Interior Ministry. The blast caused damage on three floors of the building but there was no fire, media said. A civilian employee at the HQ also received minor injuries in the blast.

“When I was moving the used grenade launchers, which were gifts from the Ukrainians, there was an explosion,” Szymczyk told Poland's RMF FM radio on Saturday.

“The explosion was powerful – the force of the impact went through the floor and damaged the ceiling.”

RMF FM also cited a source from a Polish delegation that had visited Ukraine as saying that Kiev officials gave Szymczyk two anti-tank grenade launchers as souvenirs. The weapons were likely German-made Matador launchers, also known as RGW-90s. According to the source, the Ukrainian side had also assured Szymczyk that the launchers were inoperable and harmless.

The first launcher was reportedly given to Szymczyk by Igor Klimenko, Ukraine’s top police officer. The weapon was said to have been used to fire at a Russian tank and later converted into a loudspeaker. The second launcher was presented to the Polish police chief by General Dmitry Bondar, the deputy head of Ukraine’s emergency services, RMF FM reported.

Szymczyk is now expected to be questioned as a witness by the prosecutor’s office, according to the outlet.

Poland has been among Ukraine’s top supporters since Russia launched a military operation in the neighboring state in late February. Warsaw has delivered heavy weapons to Kiev, including more than 200 Soviet-designed T-72 tanks, and multiple Polish officials have traveled to Ukraine. Moscow has also claimed that Polish “mercenaries” have been actively fighting in Ukraine.