Russia and Ukraine: Zelenskyy denies Kiev’s responsibility for launching a missile at Poland
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he had “no doubts” that Ukraine was not responsible for the missile that killed two people in Poland on Tuesday.
Zelenskyi confirmed he had received assurances from senior military leaders that “it wasn’t our missile.”
He called for Ukrainian officials to be allowed access to the bombing site and to take part in the investigation.
Zelenskyi’s comments came after North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg suggested the missile was fired by Ukraine’s air defenses.
US President Joe Biden also questioned Zelenskyy’s statement, which denied that the missile was of Ukrainian origin, telling reporters, “It’s not proof.”
The missile crash caused an explosion at a farm in a Polish village 6 km from the border with Ukraine.
Ukraine’s air defense systems were activated on Tuesday as Russia launched what is believed to be the largest wave of missile attacks since the February 24 invasion.
The attack, which took place in connection with the G20 summit in Indonesia, sparked an international outcry.
The news also aroused the crash of a missile on the territory of Poland, a member of NATO, and feared a serious escalation of the ongoing war.
But Polish President Andrzej Duda spoke of a “high probability” that the Ukrainian air defense system was behind the missile launch.
“The information that we and our allies have says that the missile is an old S-300 made in the Soviet Union and there is no evidence that it was launched from the Russian side,” said Duda.
Stoltenberg told the BBC he agreed with the Netherlands’ assessment that the accident was caused by a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile.
“But the main message is that Russia bears full responsibility because this would not have happened if Russia had not waged a brutal war of aggression against Ukraine,” he added.
He said NATO had pledged to provide a “more modern air defense system” to Ukraine, which is not a member of the alliance but receives significant military aid.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas Greenfield blamed Russia for the incident.
“While we don’t know all the facts, we do know one thing: this tragedy would not have happened without Russia’s needless invasion of Ukraine and its recent rocket attacks on Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure. The UN Charter is clear,” she said.
“Ukraine has every right to defend itself against this barrage,” she added during a session of the United Nations Security Council.
Meanwhile, a senior US general warned that Ukraine’s recent success in counterattacking in the east and south is unlikely to yield an early military victory.
Last week, Ukraine recaptured Kherson, the only major city to fall to the Russians since the invasion began.
Ukrainian forces advanced in Donetsk and Luhansk after an offensive launched in September.
“The possibility of an early Ukrainian military victory, and that means the expulsion of the Russians from all parts of Ukraine, including Crimea, is not great from a military point of view,” Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told Pentagon reporters.
But he added that recent Russian casualties mean a “political solution” is possible.
Milley, President Biden’s senior military adviser, said Ukraine’s gains could prompt Moscow to agree to a political exit.
The US general did not reveal more about the form of this agreement.
The President of Ukraine presented a 10-point peace plan to the audience at the G20 summit in Bali, which includes guarantees for nuclear safety, the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory, reparations and justice for “Russian aggression against Ukraine”. contains.
But Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called Kiev’s demands “unrealistic and inappropriate”. He said Ukraine “categorically opposes” negotiations with Russia.
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