The Biden administration blamed Russia Wednesday after a Ukrainian missile hit Polish territory Tuesday, killing two people, in an official statement.
“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,” the statement issued by National Security Council Spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said. “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.” (RELATED: ‘Illogical’: Former NATO Commander Says Russian Missiles Hitting Poland Unlikely To Be ‘Deliberate Attack’)
“That said, 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,” the statement continued. “Ukraine had — and has — every right to defend itself.”
Polish authorities said late Tuesday that they believe the missile was fired by Ukrainian forces defending against a Russian attack, and that it unintentionally hit Polish territory. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) backed the Polish assessment in a statement released Wednesday.
The Ukrainian military uses many weapons used by Russia, stemming from the 1991 break-up of the Soviet Union, according to GlobalSecurity.org.
The incident came during a major Russian attack involving dozens of missiles that targeted Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, and Kharkov, causing power outages in both cities, Reuters reported. Russian forces retreated from Kherson earlier in November, citing supply difficulties.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also blasted Russia after the incident.
“One thing that’s certain is that the loss of life in Poland was a consequence of Russia’s latest indiscriminate attacks on Ukrainians,” Trudeau said during remarks given in English and French.
“I offered my condolences and offered support for the investigation that will get to the bottom of what happened,” Trudeau said later. “Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion, the Polish government and the Polish people have stood strong and stepped up for Ukrainians.”
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