Source: Hot Air
When the news broke yesterday that two people in Przewodów, Poland were killed when a missile (or actually two missiles) struck that country, everyone was immediately concerned over the possibility of a vast escalation in the ongoing war. Poland rapidly summoned the Russian ambassador for a brief meeting “without handshakes or formalities.” I went on social media only half-jokingly asking if this meant we were now at war. But as the hours went by, doubts were quickly raised as to whether the Russians had really done this. President Biden was asked about it and he said it was “unlikely” that the strike was launched by Russia.
As more data was examined, the picture became increasingly clear, according to military analysts. So if the strike didn’t come from Russia, there’s really only one other suspect. The missiles clearly seemed to be Russian S-300 air defense missiles, but they sell those to everyone. (Including Turkey, sadly.) And the Ukrainians have and use them. Given the latest round of missile attacks on Ukraine by Russian forces, the general consensus seems to be that these were Ukrainian air defense weapons that missed their target and fell in Poland. (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
Polish President Andrzej Duda said there was no evidence that a missile that crashed in his country, killing two local workers, was intentional and was likely a Russian-made weapon fired by a Ukrainian air-defense system.
“We currently have no evidence that the missile was fired by the Russian side,” he said. He blamed the tragedy on Moscow’s campaign of missile strikes on Ukrainian targets, including along the Polish border.
The initial findings were being discussed Wednesday at an emergency meeting at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, where ambassadors from the alliance’s 30 members and candidates Sweden and Finland reviewed intelligence and considered their options.
The Russian Foreign ministry finally weighed in, saying that the missiles “have no relation to Russian firepower.”
From Russian Foreign Ministry: Russian firepower has launched no strikes at the area between Ukrainian–Polish border.
The wreckage published by Polish mass media from the scene in Przewodów have no relation to Russian firepower.
— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) November 15, 2022
Even Poland is admitting the missiles probably came from Ukraine. I checked in with Lt. Tim McMillan, who covers the war in Ukraine from his home base in Germany. His sources confirm that the missiles were the result of “errant Ukrainian S-300 air defenses.”
UPDATE: The overwhelming consensus from Western intelligence and defense sources is that initial indications are the two missiles that landed in Poland yesterday were the result of errant Ukrainian S-300 air defenses and not directly Russian strikes. pic.twitter.com/ckwoR8wcq5
— Tim McMillan (@LtTimMcMillan) November 16, 2022
We can rule out the idea that Ukrainian forces would have intentionally launched a strike against Poland. That would suggest a level of insanity outside the realm of belief. It’s also hard to even accuse the Ukrainian forces of incompetence. Air defense missiles don’t always succeed in taking out their intended targets and they have to land somewhere. Russia had been shelling targets near Poland’s border yesterday and the Ukrainians were obviously trying to bring down the incoming missiles.
I’ve seen a number of analysts and reporters using that assumption as a reason to still blame Russia for two deaths in Poland. The thinking behind that conclusion basically rests on the idea that if Russia hadn’t been shelling the Ukrainians, they wouldn’t have needed to fire the S-300s in an effort to defend themselves.
If that lets you sleep better at night, feel free to go with it. As for me, I would write this incident off as an example of one of my father’s most frequent bits of wisdom he shared with me. ‘Bad things happen in war.’
If we can take anything away from this event, it’s probably a timely reminder that the war in Ukraine still has the potential to spin out of control at any point. Poland didn’t wind up invoking Article IV of the NATO charter, which would have begun “high-level consultations” among the members intended to determine whether Article V needed to be invoked and call for retaliatory action against Russia by NATO in their defense. But Poland’s leaders admitted that they discussed doing so in the early hours of the event.
Rather than funding this war endlessly, it is long past time for the Biden administration to push Ukraine toward a diplomatic solution. We have spent far too long surfing our way along the brink of a potential nuclear war with Russia. We also need a full accounting of where all of the billions of dollars and modern weapons systems the United States has flushed into Ukraine wound up going. Starting in January, Joe Biden has already been warned that he won’t have an endless “blank check” to keep funding this proxy war, so he needs to exercise some leadership and start shutting that show down.