Polish journalist explains Poland’s reaction to missile incident near Ukraine border

16 November 2022, 11:40 PM
The fall of the missile in Przewodów is the first tragic incident of this war outside Ukraine and on the territory of a NATO country. (Photo:Pawel Wodzynski/East News)

The fall of the missile in Przewodów is the first tragic incident of this war outside Ukraine and on the territory of a NATO country. (Photo:Pawel Wodzynski/East News)

Polish people reacted calmly and with solidarity to the events at the village of Przewodow, polish journalist Michał Potocki said in a comment to NV on Nov. 16.

Missiles that crashed on Poland's territory in the evening of Nov. 15 amid Russia’s massive air strike against Ukrainian infrastructure could cause a major international stir. It was reported at first it could have been a Russian attack against a NATO member.

But then, U.S. President Joe Biden, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, and Polish President Andrzej Duda suggested that it was an unfortunate accident and Ukraine's air defense missile fell near the village of Przewodow in Lublin District, while it was attempting to intercept an incoming Russian cruise missile.

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Western allies noted they will continue to support Ukraine in its right to self-defense, saying Russia bears the ultimate responsibility for the incident.

NV talked to Michał Potocki – a journalist at Dziennik Gazeta Prawna – to clarify the situation with the incident in Poland. He said the following:

“The majority of Polish society is still waiting for investigation results of the tragedy caused by the fall of the missile. Americans told today it was Ukrainian air defense one.

It's hard to say how Polish society will react. But there is no panic on social media. People are concerned. They realize this war is close by. It's so close that it threatens Poland.

People don't believe in the threat of shelling or invasion from Russia. They aren't anticipating anything bad. There are no lines at gas stations and in groceries.

So far, Polish politicians have been quite constructive. First of all, they called for solidarity with Ukraine who suffered from Russian mass strikes. Also, they urged to stay calm and to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the accident. There was even no infighting habitual to Polish political life. It's a great success, I think. It also illustrates the efforts that were made to accurately estimate this event. It only could have been better communicated as there was a lack of official information in the first few hours.

I don't believe the investigation results will change the attitude of Poles to Ukrainians, Ukraine, and the war. But it also depends on the official reaction of Warsaw and Kyiv.

If it really was a Ukrainian missile, everyone knows mistakes always creep in, including in times of war. Poland clearly understands who is the aggressor of this war and who is suffering from it. You have a right of self-defense. In war, mistakes always happen.

It'd be better to have an official apology from Ukraine, maybe some aid to the families of the victims. It's not only humane, but also can leave pro-Russian activists in Poland with no arguments. For now, they can propose policy shifts in regards to the war in Ukraine.

So far, those who called for the political revision in the regard of Ukraine in the aftermath of the tragedy looked like Russian propaganda's bots and trolls. Even the far-right parties still support Ukraine amid the accident.

Polish Editor in Chief Wojciech Jakóbik wrote on Twitter our reaction should include calm, solidarity, and sanctions. I think we can see the first two in the Polish people right now."

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