Speculation – Or Lies – About Missile Strike in Poland Brought World Dangerously Close to WWIII

ukrainian missile poland
President.gov.ua, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

This week for the first time in this nine-month war between Ukraine and Russia, the conflict bled out into a neighboring NATO country. Two people were killed in what appears to be an accidental Ukrainian missile strike in Poland.

You could feel the collective holding of the world’s breath as many thought this might be the catalyst that pulls the United States into direct conflict with Russia.

The immediate assumption among the uninformed was that the bad guys launched the missile. Those are the Russians, if you aren’t keeping up.

However, it would appear that the knee-jerk reaction from mainstream media sources and commentators – and the every popular “unnamed US intelligence officials – was incorrect. Imagine that.

The world should be marking where they were this week because actions and reactions like we’re witnessing are how world wars are started.

It Was The Russians!

Associated Press reporter James LaPorta tweeted:

“A senior U.S. Intelligence official says Russian missiles crossed into NATO member Poland, killing two people.”

It didn’t take long for other outlets to latch onto this claim. For example, a Sky News headline read: ‘Russian Missile kills two people in NATO member Poland, US Intelligence Official Says. “

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European leaders were outraged, demanding Russia’s answer to this unprecedented event. For example, Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad said that they were “very concerned by Russian missiles dropping in Poland” and:

“Russia must explain what happened.”

The former head of the British Army, Lord Richard Dannatt, boldly claimed:

“Modern technology is pretty accurate, so it’s quite difficult to explain away that this might have been an accident.”

And naturally, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that this strike on NATO territory is a “significant escalation” and “action” is needed.

However, all signs point to the missile that landed coming not from the Russians, but from the Ukrainians.

Tap The Brakes

The Pentagon has got to handle these unnamed U.S. officials who like to blab to the Associated Press. How embarrassing for Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder to have to come out and state that regarding the missile coming from Russia, there is:

“…no information to corroborate press reports.”

I guess the official that spoke to the AP was talking out their you know what? It isn’t all that surprising, but just about as dangerous as a blind drunk man firing a loaded weapon into a crowd.

More unnamed officials have told media outlets that Ukraine probably fired the missile at an incoming Russian missile.

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Luckily it would appear we aren’t quite at Article 5, which would compel NATO countries to mobilize to answer for a deliberate attack on a NATO country. However, we are in Article 4 territory, which means Poland can require NATO to meet to discuss security issues such as, you know, a rogue missile killing two of its citizens.

President Biden has even come out to say that:

“It is unlikely in the lines of the trajectory that it was fired from Russia, but we’ll see.”

The claim that the missile came from Ukraine has, of course, elicited a response from Ukraine.

Nope, It Was Totally Russia

President Zelensky is not budging, stating that:

“I have no doubt that it was not our rocket.”

Naturally, he asserts we should believe him and that we should take this as our moment to dive in:

“We need to put the terrorist in its place. The longer Russia feels impunity, the more threats there will be for everyone within the reach of Russian missiles.”

Russia, of course, claims they are innocent and that this is a:

“…deliberate provocation aimed at escalating the situation.”

While that sounds like their usual conspiratorial rhetoric that I don’t necessarily buy, I don’t think it’s outside the bounds of reality that a Ukrainian accident is being used by those who stand to benefit to compel the world further to escalate tension with Russia. 

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After all, as General Ryder points out, the United States is prepared to:

“…defend every inch of NATO territory.”

So, can we release our held breath for a sigh of relief?

Not Out Of The Woods

Like everything in this world, an investigation is underway to discover the origins and facts behind this missile strike in Poland. President Biden promised to “make sure we find out exactly what happened.”

In the event we do find out exactly what happened, the President says:

“…we’re going to collectively determine our next step as we investigate.”

The likely next step will be even more money and military aid to Ukraine, with the possibility of providing more advanced air strike capabilities. So what probably won’t happen?

Accountability for journalists peddling disinformation that could’ve brought us past the line of return for global war. These mistakes, with wayward missiles, shock jock reporters, and unnamed spooks are how world wars start, and while we should feel thankful that it appears calmer heads have prevailed, a lot of that is due to luck.

An interesting question to ponder is if it turns out to be true that this was an error from Ukraine, will they be viewed as responsible?

Even If It’s Not Russia, It’s Russia

NATO alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg explained how regardless of where this missile came from:

“Russia bears ultimate responsibility, as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine.”

So even though Moscow has come out and said, “No strikes on targets near the Ukrainian Polish state border were made by Russian means of destruction,” they are still ultimately culpable.

A good question that doubtful anyone will be ballsy enough to pose is, what if this wasn’t a Ukrainian accident?

They’ve been known to dabble in misinformation and propaganda; it wouldn’t be all that difficult to play on the world’s desire to crush Russia by ‘accidentally’ letting a Russian-built missile stray into a neighbor’s backyard.

My favorite commentary on this missile strike comes from the former head of Britain’s Joint Forces Command, General Sir Richard Barrons:

“…this world of ours is taking a turn that no one could possibly have imagined even a month ago.”

Where have you been, Sir Barrons? Because most of us have been worried about this exact scenario since the get-go.


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USAF Retired, Bronze Star recipient, outspoken veteran advocate. Hot mess mom to two monsters and wife to equal parts... More about Kathleen J. Anderson

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