Poland military on alert after ‘Russian-made missile’ kills two | Top updates
The White House also said it could not confirm reports coming out of Poland and was working with the Polish government to gather more information.
Poland has put its military on heightened readiness after reported Russian strikes inside the NATO member's borders amid the ongoing war in Ukraine. Two people were reportedly killed in a blast in a Polish village – about 15 miles from the Ukrainian border – that reports said resulted from the Russian strikes.
The Associated Press, citing a senior US intelligence official, said the blast was due to Russian missile crossing into Poland. The Pentagon and White House said they were investigating the claims.
Hours after the incident, Poland confirmed that a “Russian-made missile” had fallen in the eastern part of the country and killed two. Moscow has, however, dismissed the claims as a “deliberate provocation.”
Here are the latest updates:
1) NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said it was important to find out the facts about what caused a deadly "explosion" in Poland after holding talks with Poland President Andrzej Duda.
2) Russia has denied reports that their missiles had hit Polish territory. In a statement on Telegram, Moscow's defence minister was quoted as saying, “Statements by Polish media and officials about Russian missiles hitting Polish territory are a deliberate provocation aimed at escalating the situation.”
3) Poland has put its military on heightened alert after an emergency national security council meeting. "There has been a decision to raise the state of readiness of some combat units and other uniformed services," government spokesperson Piotr Muller told reporters after the meeting in Warsaw.
4) Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian missile hitting Poland were a "significant escalation" of the conflict. "Russian missiles hit Poland," Zelensky said but did not provide evidence of the strikes.
"The longer Russia feels impunity, the more threats there will be to anyone within reach of Russian missiles. To fire missiles at NATO territory! This is a Russian missile attack on collective security! This is a very significant escalation. We must act," Zelensky added.
5) US State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said reports of Russian missiles crossing into Poland near the Ukrainian border were “incredibly concerning.” He said that Washington was working to determine what happened and appropriate next steps.
6) European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she was "alarmed" by the reports of an explosion in Poland and was “closely monitoring the situation”. "We are closely monitoring the situation and are in touch with Polish authorities and partners and allies", she said on Twitter.
7) Polish President Andrzej Duda held talks with his US counterpart Joe Biden. "The conversation between the US and Polish presidents is ongoing," Polish presidential adviser Jakub Kumoch said on Twitter.
8) The United Kingdom said was "urgently" looking into reports of missile landing in Poland, and is "in contact with our Polish friends and NATO allies.
9) The strikes marked the first time in the ongoing Ukrainian war that Russian weapons came down on a NATO country and risks an escalation in the conflict.
10) NATO ambassadors are expected to meet on Wednesday at the request of Poland on basis of NATO's Article 4, Reuters reported, citing European diplomats. According to Article 4 of NATO, members can raise any issue of concern related to the security of a member country.
(With AP, AFP, Reuters inputs)