The Influence of a Single Missile

EXPERT PERSPECTIVE — An explosion final week, within the japanese Polish village of Przewodow, killed two individuals and created heightened concern about simply how rapidly the struggle in Ukraine may escalate into a world battle. 
The Cipher Temporary compiled a tic-toc of what occurred, telling the story of how a single missile introduced into sharp focus, the dangers which are actually at play in Ukraine.


  • Polish Radio ZET reported that two stray missiles brought about the blast.
  • The Related Press cited a senior US intelligence official saying Russian missiles had crossed into Poland.
  • The Pentagon initially mentioned it couldn’t verify experiences that Russian missiles had landed in Polish territory.  
  • The Russian Protection Ministry denied the experiences, calling the allegations “a deliberate provocation geared toward escalating the scenario.”  It added that Russia didn’t hit targets close to the Ukrainian-Polish border and that particles discovered on the web site of the blasts had “nothing to do with Russian weapons.”
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy later mentioned, with out offering proof, that Russian missiles hit Poland. He referred to as the assault on “the territory of our pleasant nation” an “assault on collective safety” and mentioned it marked a “vital escalation” within the battle with Russia.
  • In response to the blasts, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Marawiecki held an emergency Safety Council assembly. The Polish authorities additionally raised navy readiness.
  • Polish President Andrzej Duda spoke with President Joe Biden concerning the blasts. The White Home mentioned Biden reiterated to Duda that the US has an “ironclad dedication to NATO.” 
  • Duda additionally mentioned the incident with NATO Secretary Basic Jens Stoltenberg, who mentioned it was vital to seek out all of the details behind the causes of the explosion.
  • A Polish authorities spokesman mentioned Poland is contemplating whether or not it’s going to name NATO for discussions beneath Article 4, which states that an alliance member can name for consultations when it feels its “territorial integrity, political independence or safety” are in danger.

“If this was an accident, the intuition in Warsaw and Washington can be warning and restraint, with Article 4 discussions signaling the Russians to not screw up once more,” Cipher Temporary Knowledgeable and former Appearing Director of CIA John McLaughlin informed us.

John McLaughlin, Former CIA Appearing Director

“If this was a deliberate provocation, and we’ll nearly actually know earlier than lengthy, then the Alliance can be provoked and must reply in a roundabout way.  The default impulse will most likely be to keep away from getting right into a tit-for-tat between NATO and Russia.  However we’d chill out a few of the cautions we’ve given the Ukrainians about not hitting sure Russian targets or different redlines.”

The incident sparked alarm and requires the protection of NATO territory throughout central and japanese Europe, placing squarely into focus the query of simply how rapidly NATO could be able to launch a response and what that response may appear like.

  • Latvia appeared to explicitly accuse Russia of inflicting the blasts. Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks tweeted, “Felony Russian regime fired missiles which focused not solely Ukrainian civilians but in addition landed on NATO territory in Poland.”
  • Estonia expressed solidarity with Poland in addition to its willingness to “defend each inch of NATO territory,” in response to a tweet from the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Nonetheless, Estonia didn’t explicitly blame Russia for the blasts.
  • Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda likewise expressed solidarity with Poland and referred to as for “each inch of NATO territory” to be defended, in response to a tweet. He mentioned “the reason for the explosions isn’t but recognized,” however added that they occurred as Russia launched missile strikes in Ukraine.
  • Hungary convened a protection council assembly to debate the blasts, in addition to disruptions to grease flows via the Druzhba pipeline.

“We don’t know sufficient but concerning the strike,” cautioned Cipher Temporary Knowledgeable and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Admiral Jim Stavridis (Ret.). 

Admiral James Stavridis (Ret.), Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander

“However assuming it was an errant missile from Russia, this supplies a robust motivation to bolster air protection alongside the NATO-Ukraine border at a minimal. It may additionally trigger NATO to offer MIG-29 plane to the Ukrainians from Poland, with US backfilling with F-16s. And it could trigger a severe dialogue about placing a no-fly zone up over Ukraine, manned by NATO fighters.”

The Morning After

The Polish International Ministry launched a press release early Wednesday saying {that a} Russian-made missile brought about an explosion in japanese Poland that killed two individuals.  The ministry mentioned it summoned the Russian ambassador and “demanded fast detailed explanations” for the blasts.

  • Polish President Andrzej Duda then appeared to step again from a full-throated condemnation of Russia, saying there isn’t a conclusive proof displaying who fired the missiles and that investigations are ongoing. He added that the explosion gave the impression to be a “one-off” incident. He additionally mentioned it’s seemingly Poland will ask for consultations beneath Article 4 at a deliberate North Atlantic Council assembly on Wednesday. 
  • President Joe Biden convened an emergency assembly of NATO and G7 leaders gathered in Bali for a G20 summit to debate the missile blast. He informed reporters that, in response to “preliminary data,” he thinks “it’s unlikely” the missile was fired from Russia as a result of its trajectory, however mentioned he wouldn’t make any conclusions till the Polish investigation is accomplished.
  • Three US officers inform The Related Press that preliminary findings recommend that the missile that landed in Poland was fired by Ukrainian forces in an try and intercept an incoming Russian missile.
  • Polish President Andrzej Duda says the explosion was “very seemingly” an “unlucky accident” brought on by an Ukrainian air protection missile, relatively than any “intentional assault.” He added that the missile was “more than likely” Russian-made, however that there isn’t a present proof that Russian forces fired it.
  • NATO Secretary Basic Jens Stoltenberg echoed Duda’s conclusion, although he emphasised that “this isn’t Ukraine’s fault” and that “Russia bears final accountability because it continues its unlawful struggle in opposition to Ukraine.”

Sir Alex Youthful, Former Chief, MI6

“It’s, actually, a warning shot about the potential for escalation,” Cipher Temporary Knowledgeable and former Chief, Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, MI6 Sir Alex Youthful informed us.  “However I’m assured that Putin understands that deliberate escalation may be very a lot not in his curiosity. I’d add that even when it was a Ukrainian air defence missile, the blame nonetheless lies firmly with Russia.”

What Did We Study?

Amongst different issues, we discovered how dangerously shut a single missile can come to escalating an already tense scenario to the next stage of worldwide battle.  We discovered how rapidly data is shared and we noticed how NATO nations had been at the least desirous about responding, if the missile had in actual fact, been fired by Russia.  Whereas the teachings from this single incident are value noting, so too is the larger image.
“In 2008, when Russia invaded Georgia, the response of the West was insufficient. Russia bought to carry on to twenty% of the nation of Georgia,” Cipher Temporary Knowledgeable and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Basic Phil Breedlove (Ret.) informed us.

Basic Phil Breedlove (Ret.), Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander

“The western world rewarded Russia’s unhealthy habits. In 2014, Russia invaded Ukraine and took 11 or 12% of Ukrainian territory. Moscow threatened to huff and puff and blow our home down with World Conflict III or their nukes. As soon as once more, the west capitulated and allowed them to hold on to a giant chunk of Ukraine. For the second time, we rewarded unhealthy habits.  We shouldn’t be stunned that we’re again now for a 3rd time. Russia has seized one other massive a part of Ukraine. And when the west begins to reply, Russia has huffed and puffed and threatened to blow our home down with World Conflict III and nukes. They usually absolutely anticipate us to capitulate a 3rd time. We within the West are at a degree of resolution, are we going to, for the third time, reward unhealthy habits? The West and the Western world have a call to make. Mr. Putin is huffing and he’s puffing and he’s threatening to blow our home down and we have to determine how we’re going to reply.  Right here’s what I do know for positive: If we capitulate and permit Russia to carry onto much more Ukrainian territory, we’ll be again right here once more in 2025 and 2028 and 2031 and 2033. It’s time for us to step up.”

Cipher Temporary Author and Researcher Ethan Masucol contributed to this piece

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