Polish PM says explosion Tuesday probably caused by shooting down of a Russian missile

Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat holds a briefing at the Ukraine-Ukrinform Media Center, Kyiv, Ukraine, on June 14. (Pavlo_Bagmut/Ukrinform/Future Publishing/Getty Images)

The Ukrainian Air Force said it will “do everything” to facilitate an investigation into a missile strike in Poland on Tuesday that killed two people near the border with Ukraine.

“What happened was the Air Defense Force repelling the air attack,” Yurii Ihnat, spokesperson for Air Force Command Ukraine, said on Wednesday.

“What happened next – whether it was a Russian missile, or this was the wreckage of both rockets falling – this has to be inspected at the site. And that is what is happening right now.”

What happened yesterday is obviously the consequences of the war.” 

“It is necessary to provide a legal assessment,” Ihnat added. “The process is ongoing, the experts are working. It is necessary to establish which missile wreckage these were, I don’t think it would be too difficult.”

“We advocate for a joint examination of the incident with the missile’s landing in Poland,” Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, said on Twitter.

“We are ready to hand over evidence of the Russian trace that we have. We are expecting information from our partners, based on which a conclusion was made that it’s a Ukrainian air defense missile.”

The comments came as the Russian defense ministry said Ukraine’s air defense system is responsible for the strike, calling assertions blaming “Russian missiles” for being behind the explosion “a deliberate provocation with the aim of escalating the situation.”

Ihnat also made reference to an incident at the end of October, when a Russian missile intercepted by the Ukrainian military fell on a village in Moldova.

“This is a really resonant situation, but this is not the first time,” he said. In that case, he explained a Russian missile was downed by Kyiv “after crossing the Ukrainian border with Moldova. The wreckage of a missile fell on the territory of Moldova.”

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