Poland’s president Andrzej Duda has said the missile that landed in his country and killed two people appears to be an “unfortunate incident”. It was highly probable that the rocket, which was Russian-made, was used by the Ukrainian air defence, he added. There were no grounds to believe that the missile incident was an intentional attack, Duda said, or that the rocket was launched by the Russian side.
The missile fell Tuesday on the Polish village of Przewodów, near the Ukrainian border, killing two people, Poland’s foreign ministry said in a statement. The incident is the first time that the territory of a Nato country has been struck during the near-nine-month Ukraine war.
The Russian defence ministry has claimed that on Tuesday it had not targeted anywhere within 35km (22 miles) of the Ukraine-Poland border. In a statement reported by Tass the ministry said: “Statements by various Ukrainian sources and foreign officials about allegedly ‘Russian missiles’ falling in the village of Przewodów are a deliberate provocation with the aim of escalating the situation”. The Russian ministry claimed to have identified the wreckage as a Ukrainian S-300 from photographs.
Ukraine is requesting “immediate access” to the site of the explosion in eastern Poland, a senior Ukrainian defence official said. Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s national security and defence council, said Ukraine wanted a “joint study” of Tuesday’s incident with its partners. He added that Kyiv expected its allies to provide the information that provided the basis for their conclusions that the incident may have been caused by Ukraine’s air defences.
Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of Nato, says the Polish missile incident demonstrates that the war in Ukraine “which is Putin’s responsibility – continues to create dangerous situations”. Nato is “constantly” assessing its presence in the eastern part of the alliance, he said, adding “At the same time, we have no indication that this was a result of a deliberate attack on Nato territory. And we have no indications that Russia is planning offensive military actions against the Nato allies.”
UK prime minister Rishi Sunak has blamed Vladimir Putin’s “cruel and unrelenting” war for destabilising the world economy, while calling for Nato allies to wait for the results of “a full investigation into the circumstances behind missiles falling in Poland yesterday”. The British PM and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau spoke with Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, and said in a read-out afterwards that “whatever the outcome of that investigation [into the explosion in Poland], Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is squarely to blame for the ongoing violence.”
A senior adviser to Ukraine’s president said on Wednesday that Russia was to blame for any “incidents with missiles” after its invasion of his country. “In my opinion, it is necessary to adhere to only one logic. The war was started and is being waged by Russia. Russia massively attacks Ukraine with cruise missiles,” Mykhailo Podolyak said in a written statement. “Russia has turned the eastern part of the European continent into an unpredictable battlefield. Intent, means of execution, risks, escalation - all this is only Russia. And there can be no other explanation for any incidents with missiles.”
Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he is satisfied with Russia’s claim that it was not involved in the incident in Poland, and that “insisting that the missiles were Russian-made will provoke this issue.”
Former Russian president and hawkish long-term ally of Putin, Dmitry Medvedev, has said that the explosion on Polish territory showed the west was moving closer to another World War. “The incident with the Ukrainian-alleged ‘missile strike’ on a Polish farm proves just one thing: waging a hybrid war against Russia, the west moves closer to world war,” Medvedev wrote on Twitter.
Italy’s prime minister Giorgia Meloni expressed “great apprehension and concern” over the missile explosion, adding she was meeting with Nato and European allies to consider possible steps.
A draft declaration from G20 leaders said “most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine”, demanding Russia’s “complete and unconditional withdrawal” from its neighbour’s territory. The reference to war is a rejection of Russia’s claim that it is involved in a “special military operation”. But it also said “there were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions”, reflecting the divisions among G20 states over Russia. The declaration warns that “the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible. The peaceful resolution of conflicts, efforts to address crises, as well as diplomacy and dialogue, are vital. Today’s era must not be of war.”
Pope Francis on Wednesday condemned the latest wave of missile attacks on Ukraine and called for a ceasefire to avert the risk of an escalation of the conflict.
Sweden will deliver new military aid worth 3bn crowns (£242m) to Ukraine, its biggest package of defence material to date, which includes an air defence system, prime minister Ulf Kristersson said.
Russia’s foreign ministry said it had banned entry to more than 50 Irish politicians, including prime minister Micheal Martin, over western sanctions over Ukraine. Among those listed include Ireland’s deputy prime minister Leo Varadkar and foreign, justice and finance ministers.
Britain will have to tackle Russian aggression for years to come, said the MI5 chief on Wednesday, adding that his agency had blocked more than 100 attempts by the Kremlin to insert suspected spies into the UK since the Salisbury poisonings. Ken McCallum, giving an annual threat update, said state-based threats were increasing and said the UK also faced a heightened direct threat from Iran, which had threatened “to kidnap or even kill” 10 people based in Britain in the past year.
Russia launched waves of missile strikes across Ukraine on Tuesday as G20 leaders met in Bali. Ukraine’s authorities said it was another planned attack aimed at the country’s energy infrastructure facilities. In his Tuesday evening address, Zelenskiy said “a total of 90 missiles” hit Ukraine. Seven million homes were left without power. The deputy head of the presidential administration, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, wrote on Telegram that the energy situation across Ukraine was “critical” as a result.
Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 266 of the invasion
Poland says missile that killed two in Przewodów probably came from Ukrainian air defence
Samantha Lock was a live blogger and foreign news reporter for the Guardian
Martin Belam is the Guardian's senior social reporter in London
Léonie Chao-Fong is a London-based reporter. Twitter @leonie_chaofong