Reports of Russian Missiles Killing 2 in Poland Raise Prospect of Dangerous Escalation
American military officials are “looking into” reports that two Russian missiles may have hit Poland on Tuesday, killing two people near the country’s eastern border with Ukraine.
Poland’s status as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) means the reported incident, which seems to have occurred as part of a Russian bombardment that targeted cities and key infrastructure across Ukraine, represents one of the most dangerous moments in the war since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Even if only an accident, it seems inevitable that the missile strikes raise the likelihood of a direct confrontation between the world’s two largest nuclear powers.
According to The New York Times, two people were killed by an explosion at a grain processing facility near the Polish village of Przewodow. The Associated Press cited two unnamed American intelligence officials who confirmed that the missiles did stray into Poland.
General Pat Ryder, the Pentagon’s spokesman, told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that military officials were “aware of the press reports alleging that two Russian missiles have struck a location inside Poland” but said the military was still seeking to corroborate those reports.
The potential for an accidental missile strike inside NATO territory that could spark a broader war has been one of the top concerns for many observers since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Just weeks after the war began, Emma Ashford and Joshua Shifrinson warned in a piece at Foreign Affairs about the potential for an “escalating spi
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