Dhe two people killed by a rocket blast at their farm near Poland’s border with Ukraine on Tuesday were unlucky to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time in a sparsely populated area. Everyone else got away with the shock – and with the relief that according to the current state of knowledge it was not a targeted Russian attack, but a stray Ukrainian missile.
For a few hours one had thought that was possible and had to ask oneself whether the third world war was imminent. It was a reminder that Russia’s war on Ukraine can spill over to the West at any time, wanted or not.
It was also a kind of stress test for everyone involved. Such tests are carried out in the banking sector or in the energy supply sector to identify risks. So that they don’t only become apparent when it’s too late. It is worth examining Tuesday’s incident in more detail from this point of view. Poland and NATO have reacted calmly, but other actors have not.
First of all, this concerns the political leadership of Ukraine. It is true that it is in a cruel war, which it did not choose and in which it is supported by the West to the best of its ability. However, this places a special responsibility on it: to be better than Russia when it comes to existential questions of true and false.