'Ukrainian missile' lands in Moldova
Fragments of a missile fell on the territory of Moldova on Monday, as Ukrainian air defense systems responded to a wave of Russian strikes. A Russian expert said that the debris came from a Ukrainian anti-air missile.
The missile parts fell near the city of Briceni, which lies near Moldova’s border with Ukraine. Moldova’s interior ministry said that a police patrol had come across the missile, without specifying its origin.
However, photos shared by Moldovan authorities suggest that the debris was from the booster stage of a missile fired by an S-300 air defense system, a Soviet-era platform still fielded by the Ukrainian military. Russian military expert Alexey Leonkov told RIA Novosti that the wreckage belonged to an “S-300PS/PT, actively used by Ukraine in attempts to repel Russian high-precision strikes.”
The incident took place during a wave of Russian missile attacks on Ukraine. Russia’s forces have launched repeated aerial assaults on Ukrainian military and infrastructure targets since early October, with the Kremlin describing these strikes as a “necessary” response to Kiev’s “provocative attacks on Russian civilian infrastructure, including the Crimean Bridge and energy facilities.”
It was during one of these Russian missile barrages that a Ukrainian S-300 projectile fell near the Polish village of Przewodow last month, killing two civilians. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky blamed the incident on Russia and demanded a NATO response, before the leaders of the US-led alliance publicly admitted that the missile in question was Ukraine’s.
Kiev stuck to a similar line on Monday. “This once again proves that Russian missile terror poses a huge threat not only to the security of Ukraine, but also to the security of neighboring countries,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko wrote on Facebook. Without admitting that his forces fired the missile, Nikolenko demanded that the West supply his country with better air defense systems.
A Russian missile shot down by Ukrainian air defense crashed in Moldova in October, according to Moldovan authorities. The impact caused some property damage, but no casualties.