Associated Press Issues Correction to Report Claiming Russian Missile Hit Poland

Associated Press Issues Correction to Report Claiming Russian Missile Hit Poland
Smoke rises over the city after a Russian missile strike, in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Oct. 10, 2022. (Oleksandr Klymenko/Reuters)
Jack Phillips
Updated:

The Associated Press newswire service issued a correction to a report that cited an anonymous U.S. official that claimed a Russian missile struck Polish territory on Tuesday.

“The Associated Press reported erroneously, based on information from a senior American intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity,” the AP wrote in its correction on Wednesday. “Subsequent reporting showed that the missiles were Russian-made and most likely fired by Ukraine in defense against a Russian attack.”

It did not disclose the identity of the anonymous U.S. official or in what branch of the government that individual had worked.

But that official told the outlet initially that a Russian missile was fired into Polish territory, killing two people. Russian social media accounts later posted an image of the missile debris, revealing that it was a type of missile that only Ukraine uses.

Hours later, NATO officials and Poland’s government confirmed that it was, in fact, a Ukrainian missile that landed in Poland. The White House and NATO said that Russia was ultimately responsible for the incident.

“That said, whatever the final conclusions may be, it is clear that the party ultimately responsible for this tragic incident is Russia, which launched a barrage of missiles on Ukraine specifically intended to target civilian infrastructure. Ukraine had—and has—every right to defend itself,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in a statement.

The Polish government, meanwhile, said that the Ukrainian missile was launched in a defensive manner amid Russian strikes on Ukraine.

“Ukraine’s defense was launching their missiles in various directions and it is highly probable that one of these missiles unfortunately fell on Polish territory,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said in a statement Wednesday. “There is nothing, absolutely nothing, to suggest that it was an intentional attack on Poland.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (R) and his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda shake hands during a press conference following their talks in Kyiv, Ukraine, on May 22, 2022. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (R) and his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda shake hands during a press conference following their talks in Kyiv, Ukraine, on May 22, 2022. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images)

However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told AP on Wednesday that he believes the missile was not of Ukrainian origin. A day before, he claimed the incident was a “very significant escalation” in the conflict, which started in February 2022.

“Let’s say openly, if, God forbid, some remnant [of Ukraine’s air defenses] killed a person, these people, then we need to apologize,” he said. “But first there needs to be a probe, access—we want to get the data you have.”

Russia, meanwhile, denied that it was behind the strike and said claims to the contrary are attempts to escalate the conflict. Before NATO and Poland confirmed the missile came from Ukraine, several top officials in the Kyiv government alleged, without evidence, that Moscow was advancing a “conspiracy theory” that it was a Ukrainian air defense missile.

The news that NATO concluded the missile was Ukrainian provided some relief to the Polish village that was hit by the projectile. Some expressed fears to Reuters that they were going to be dragged into the conflict.

“Everyone has in the back of the head that we are right near the border and that an armed conflict with Russia would expose us directly,” Grzegorz Drewnik, a local mayor, told the news agency. “If this is a mistake of the Ukrainians, there should be no major consequences, but I’m not an expert here.”

The Epoch Times has contacted AP’s media relations division for comment.

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: https://twitter.com/jackphillips5
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