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Update: The Associated Press made a correction, stating that the while the missile was Russian-made, it was likely fired by Ukrainians in defense against a Russian attack.
In an apparent retaliation for Ukraine retaking some of its own territory, Russia fired a barrage of roughly 100 missiles at the neighboring country. Two missiles killed two people within the border of NATO member Poland, the Associated Press reported after speaking with a senior U.S. Intelligence official on Tuesday. The AP later reported the missiles were fired by Ukrainians in defense against the Russian attack.
Russia’s most powerful attack yet since invading Ukraine in February has placed the resilient nation in darkness, and it threatens an escalation not seen since World War II.
“We’re working. We will restore everything. We will survive everything,” Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy said on Tuesday, adding that the Russian attack shut down power in many cities.
The barrage of missiles targeted Ukraine’s already weakened energy infrastructure, forcing emergency crews to work in dark as they assess the damage. Meanwhile, two missiles likely fired by Ukrainians missiles reportedly landed in Przewodow, a village in eastern Poland near the border of Ukraine.
Russian missiles hit NATO member Poland
Poland is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military alliance composed of 30 countries across Europe and North America. Article 5 of the NATO treaty states that an attack on one member is an attack on all.
Following the attack, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki convened the Committee of the Council of Ministers for National Security and Defense Affairs “as a matter of urgency”, according to a government spokesperson.
If Poland triggers Article 5, it would technically require the other 29 nations to respond militarily.
My condolences to our Polish brothers in arms. Criminal Russian regime fired missiles which target not only Ukrainian civilians but also landed on NATO territory in Poland. Latvia fully stands with Polish friends and condemns this crime.
— Artis Pabriks (@Pabriks) November 15, 2022
The attack came days after Ukraine celebrated the retaking of the Kherson region as Russia’s military fled, leaving behind a trail of blood, destruction and damage to critical infrastructure.
So far, there’s been no announcement of a response by the U.S., but Biden warned Russia about what would happen if it attacked a NATO ally months ago.
“We have a sacred obligation under Article 5 to defend each and every inch of NATO territory with the full force of our collective power,” President Joe Biden said in March.
Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder responded to questions from reporters at a press briefing.
“We are aware of the press reports alleging that two Russian missiles have struck a location inside Poland near the Ukraine border. I can tell you that we don’t have any information at this time to corroborate those reports and are looking into this further,” he said, according to BusinessInsider.
Latvia’s defense minister issued a statement expressing solidarity with Poland following the attack, and Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Órban also announced he would convene an emergency defense meeting.
The Black Wall Street Times has reached out to NATO for comment.