Speed Reads

Unprovoked Attack?

Officials: 'Russian-made missiles' land in Poland, leaving at least 2 people dead

At least two people have died after missiles landed inside Poland, the Polish government confirmed Tuesday. 

In a statement, a spokesperson for Poland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said a Russian-made missile struck the small Polish town of Przewodów, near the country's border with Ukraine. The statement added that Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau "summoned the ambassador of the Russian Federation ... and demanded [an] immediate and detailed explanation." 

Speaking to reporters, Polish President Andrzej Duda said it was "most likely a Russian-made missile, but this is all still under investigation at the moment. We do not have any conclusive evidence at the moment as to who launched this missile." 

The Polish Embassy in Washington, D.C., told The Daily Beast that Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki met with the country's Council of National Security and Defense Affairs in regard to the attack. Russia has denied responsibility, with the country's defense ministry calling the remarks from Polish officials "a deliberate provocation in order to escalate the situation." 

G7 leaders in Bali for the G20 summit held an emergency meeting as well to discuss the matter. Afterward, President Biden briefly spoke to reporters, and said an investigation will take place to "figure out exactly what happened." He also decried the "totally unconscionable" Russian missile attacks in Ukraine, and said the U.S. supports Ukraine "fully in this moment." 

The attack in Poland, a notable member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), called into question the potential use of the treaty's Article V doctrine. This clause codifies NATO's "collective defense," stating, "If a NATO ally is the victim of an armed attack, each and every other member of the Alliance will consider this act of violence as an armed attack against all members and will take the actions it deems necessary to assist the ally attacked."

While Article V has only been invoked once in NATO history, following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the attack on Poland could have the potential to pull additional NATO members into armed conflict. 

The incident in Poland followed a period in which Russia launched a massive barrage of missiles into Ukraine, causing blackouts across the country. 

This is a breaking news story and has been updated throughout.