In Warsaw on Thursday a lot of understanding was expressed for the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj. The head of the National Security Bureau, Jacek Sierwiera, said his statements about the rocket hit in the eastern Polish village of Przewodów are understandable, because Ukraine is currently having to defend itself against massive air raids: “It is normal that under these circumstances certain hypotheses that are seem obvious from the national defense point of view, also seem obvious to the head of this state,” Siewiera said in a radio interview.
The “certain hypotheses” mean Zelenskyy’s claim that the Polish village was hit by a Russian missile. He had already put them up on Tuesday evening, a few hours after the incident, when the Polish government was still speaking neutrally of an “explosion” in Przewodów. But Zelenskyy repeated this view on Wednesday evening after the United States, Poland and NATO had been talking all day about a misguided missile from the Ukrainian air defense killing two men there.
According to research by the Polish newspaper “Gazeta Wyborcza”, the Polish government was aware very early on Tuesday evening that it was a missile from the Ukrainian air defense system that hit Przewodów. She received the relevant information from an AWACS radar aircraft flying over Poland, which registered the process.
Citing participants in the meeting of the Polish security cabinet on Tuesday evening, the newspaper writes that there was consternation in the group, and they didn’t know how to communicate this to the public. So they decided to wait for the White House. But American President Joe Biden, who was in Bali for the G-20 summit, was still asleep at the time. It was Biden who – while it was night in Europe – announced in Bali that the trajectory of the rocket showed that it had not been shot down by the Russians.
Poland doesn’t want any upset
Another reason for the Polish government’s cautious communication was its contact with the Ukrainian leadership. Polish President Andrzej Duda called Zelensky, who told him Ukraine had evidence that the missile was a Russian missile. That’s how the Ukrainian military leadership Zelenskyy explained it, writes the “Gazeta Wyborcza”, citing Ukrainian sources. That’s how Selenskyj put it publicly on Wednesday evening – and said it made no sense for him not to believe the men with whom he had been through the whole war so far.
The Polish newspaper, citing sources in the Polish government, describes what actually happened as follows: One of the approximately 100 guided missiles that Russia fired at Ukraine on Tuesday aimed at the Dobrotvirska coal-fired power plant near Lviv in western Ukraine. In order to intercept them, a Ukrainian military unit fired two or three Soviet-era S-300 anti-aircraft missiles near Lemberg.
One of them hit the Russian missile in an area between Lviv and the Polish border, another missed its target. According to the newspaper, instead of destroying itself afterwards, it fell in Przewodów. The newspaper points out that the only functioning high-voltage power line connecting Poland and Ukraine runs from the Dobrotwirska power plant.
Sullivan warned Selenskyj to be careful
According to a report by the American broadcaster CNN, Joe Biden’s security advisor Jake Sullivan called Ukrainian President Selenskyj on Tuesday evening after he said in his evening video speech that Russian missiles had attacked Poland – that was an escalation to which there was a decisive answer must. Sullivan is said to have urged Selenskyj to use more cautious rhetoric. According to Gazeta Wyborcza, Warsaw was also amazed at the stubbornness with which Zelenskyy and his entourage maintained the claim that a Russian missile had landed in Poland.