Polen’s president calmed tempers on Wednesday. The rocket that hit the Polish border town of Przewodów “most likely” came from the Ukrainian air defenses. Absolutely nothing, Duda continued, evidently referring to Russia, indicates a deliberate attack on his country. The weapon that killed two people is more likely to be a missile from the Ukrainian air defense system.
The impact on Tuesday evening had caused a great deal of excitement. Poland announced that night that it would step up its air surveillance. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called for a tough and “principled” response on Russia. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “very concerned”. NATO held an emergency meeting in Brussels. Russia itself said it had not attacked any Ukrainian targets located closer than 35 kilometers to the border with Poland.
In fact, it was initially conceivable that, given the massive attacks on Ukraine on Monday, a Russian missile would fly across the border and – mistakenly or as a deliberate provocation – landed on Polish territory. Russian missiles had already fallen near the border in previous attacks on western Ukraine. However, serious assessments were impossible until reliable information about the missile type was available.
S-300 anti-aircraft system missile
At the latest when America’s President Joe Biden pointed out that the missile had been a missile from the S-300 anti-aircraft system, doubts about Russia’s authorship were appropriate – for technical reasons.
The S-300 is a family of anti-aircraft missile systems developed in the Soviet Union since the early 1970s. Both the Ukrainian and the Russian armed forces continue to use them, even if Moscow’s troops have long since had significantly more powerful systems with the S-400 and, since last year, the S-500.