Biden breaks with Zelenskyy, insists missiles that hit Poland were Ukrainian, situation gets complicated

President Joe Biden pushed back against Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday, doubling down on his previous claim that the missiles that struck Poland, killing two, originated in Ukraine, not Russia, as Zelenskyy has repeatedly stated.

As BizPac Review reported, what appeared to be a Russian-made missile hit a farming community in Poland on Tuesday, just three miles from the Ukrainian border, prompting an emergency meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The allies found no “conclusive evidence” that there was a deliberate attack on NATO soil and corroborated Poland’s claims that the fatal blast came from a Ukrainian air defense missile.

Polish President Andrzej Duda, after a meeting with his security council on Wednesday, stated that he has seen “no evidence” that Russia fired on his country and he believed it was “highly probable” it came from Ukraine.

“Ukraine’s defense was launching their missiles in various directions and it is highly probable that one of these missiles unfortunately fell on Polish territory,” Duda said.

However, President Zelenskyy quickly pointed his finger at Putin, claiming it was a Russian attack “on collective security” and a “very significant escalation.”

“We must act,” the Ukrainian leader stated — a remark that would surely spark WWIII should any nation heed his call.

Speaking to reporters, Zelenskyy again insisted the missiles were not Ukrainian.

“I have no doubt in the reports from the Commander of the Air Force and to Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhny that it was not our missile or not our missile strike,” he stated.

Upon his return to the White House from Bali, Indonesia, and the G20 summit, Biden was asked by Reuters’ White House correspondent Jeff Mason about Zelenskyy’s remarks. The president replied, “That’s not the evidence.”

On Tuesday, following the explosions, National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson Adrienne Watson tweeted that the NSC is “working with the Polish government to gather more information.”

In a follow-up tweet, she stated, “Shortly after receiving these reports, National Security Advisor @JakeSullivan46 spoke with Chief of the National Security Bureau of Poland Jacek Siewiera.”

“We cannot confirm the reports or any of the details at this time,” she added.

By Wednesday, she had retreated to a “but he started it” stance, and blamed Russia regardless of who fired the missiles.

“Whatever the final conclusions may be, it is clear that the party ultimately responsible for this tragic incident is Russia, which launched a barrage of missiles on Ukraine specifically intended to target civilian infrastructure,” she said in an NSC White House statement. “Ukraine had — and has — every right to defend itself.”

According to Watson, the White House is confident in Poland’s investigation.

“We have full confidence in the Polish government’s investigation of the explosion near their border with Ukraine, and we commend them for the professional and deliberate manner in which they are conducting it,” she stated. “We will not get ahead of their work and remain in close touch with our Polish counterparts, as we are still gathering information.”

“We have seen nothing that contradicts President Duda’s preliminary assessment that this explosion was most likely the result of a Ukrainian air defense missile that unfortunately landed in Poland,” Watson’s statement continues. “We will continue to assess and share any new information transparently as it becomes available.”

“We will also continue to stay in close touch with the Ukrainians regarding any information they have to fill out the picture,” she added.

But not everyone is willing to accept that Ukraine made a tragic mistake.

Former US special envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, isn’t ready to dismiss Zelenskyy’s claims, noting that Kyiv has “very sophisticated” missile tracking systems. The war-torn nation “knows what’s going on,” he told the Washington Examiner, as do “the Poles.”

“The Ukrainians have very good data collection — they have good radars, they track every single missile,” he said. “I’ve been to their headquarters where they do this — [it’s] very sophisticated. They know what’s going on. I’m sure the Poles do as well. I’m sure we do as well. So the Poles and Ukrainians need to sit down with their experts and look at their data … and come up with what they think actually happened.”

According to a senior European official, the incident is “extremely complicated.”

“For Ukrainians, this was an opportunity to convince the allies to have some sort of protection or air control, actually, over Ukraine, because these missile attacks by Russia on Ukrainian [energy] infrastructure targets,” the official said, according to the Examiner. “It makes the situation, from the humanitarian point of view, extremely complicated for Ukrainians. So they are desperately looking for a way to solve this issue, so it’s quite understandable why they are so insist[ent] that this was a Russian attack.”

Melissa Fine


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