- The United States is investigating unconfirmed reports of stray Russian missiles
- Russia says there are no strikes near the Ukraine-Polish border
- Ukraine suffers from the heaviest Russian missile barrage of the war
WARSAW/Kyiv, Ukraine (Reuters) – Two people were killed in an explosion in a Polish village near the border with Ukraine on Tuesday, firefighters said, and the United States said it was investigating unconfirmed reports that the explosion was caused by stray Russians. rockets.
The blast occurred after Russia bombarded cities across Ukraine on Tuesday, in what Kyiv said was the heaviest wave of missile strikes nearly nine months after it invaded its neighbour. Some hit the western city of Lviv, less than 80 kilometers (49.7 miles) from the border with Poland.
The Associated Press quoted a senior US intelligence official as saying that the explosion that occurred in the village of Przewodow in eastern Poland was caused by Russian missiles crossing into Poland, a member of the Western military alliance NATO (NATO).
The Russian Defense Ministry said there were no strikes against targets near the Ukraine-Polish border carried out by Russian weapons, the IFX news agency reported.
The Pentagon said in Washington that it could not confirm that Russian missiles had landed on Polish soil.
“We are aware of press reports alleging that two Russian missiles struck a site inside Poland near the Ukrainian border. I can tell you that we do not have any information at this time to corroborate these reports and are looking into this matter further,” Pentagon spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Rider said. .
Government spokesman Piotr Mueller said on Twitter that Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki had called an urgent meeting of the government’s committee for national security and defense affairs on Tuesday night.
Polish radio ZET reported that two stray missiles hit Przywdo, killing two people, without elaborating.
“The firefighters are on the spot, and it’s not clear what happened,” said Lucas Kogi, an officer on duty at a nearby fire brigade outpost.
Sirens sounded and explosions went off in nearly a dozen major Ukrainian cities, repeating a pattern that had set in recent weeks of Moscow pushing away from the front after battlefield losses, most recently in the southern city of Kherson.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a statement that Russia launched 110 missiles and 10 Iranian-made attack drones on Ukraine in the early evening.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the main target of the missile migration was energy infrastructure, as before.
“It’s clear what the enemy wants. It’s not going to happen,” he said in a video address on the messaging app Telegram. Kyiv said such strikes strengthened its resolve to push back the Russian forces that invaded in February.
And in the capital Kyiv, flames spewed from a five-storey apartment building after it was hit by what residents said appeared to be pieces of a dropped missile. The emergency service said one person had been confirmed dead and another injured. Kyiv’s mayor said half of the capital was left without electricity.
Other strikes or explosions were reported in cities ranging from Lviv and Zhytomyr in the west to Kryvyi Rih in the south and Kharkiv in the east. Provincial officials stated that some of the attacks resulted in power, water and heating cuts.
The United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement that the attacks left millions of Ukrainians without power in 16 of the country’s 24 regions, including Kyiv.
“The damage to civilian infrastructure comes at a critical time when temperatures are dropping below freezing, raising fears of a serious humanitarian crisis during the harsh Ukrainian winter if people are unable to heat their homes.”
Abandonment of sailing ships
Just four days ago, Russian forces abandoned the city of Kherson in the south, the only regional capital Moscow has occupied since its conquest, and six weeks after President Vladimir Putin declared it an eternal part of Russia.
Moscow said last week that its forces would occupy easily defensible positions on the opposite bank of the Dnipro River that divides Ukraine. But video footage shot in the town of Oleshki, across a collapsed bridge from Kherson, appears to show Russian forces evacuating their hideouts there as well.
To the east, Russian officials said they were pulling civil servants out of Nova Kakhovka, the second largest city in Kherson province, on the riverbank next to a massive strategic dam.
Natalia Homenyuk, a spokeswoman for the Ukrainian military, said that Moscow was apparently working to reposition troops and artillery at a distance of 15-20 kilometers from the Dnipro River to protect its guns from Ukrainian counter-strikes.
Russia has artillery that can still hit Kherson from those new positions, she said, but “we also have something to answer for.”
(Reporting by Jonathan Landay, Tom Palmforth, Reuters offices) Writing by Peter Graf and Mark Heinrichs; Editing by William McLean, Alex Richardson, and Grant McCall
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