US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin suggests that Russia is ultimately responsible for a deadly blast in Poland, saying it occurred as Moscow’s forces target Ukrainian civilians and infrastructure.
Initial reports blamed Russian missiles for the explosion, which killed two people and raised fears of a major escalation of the Ukraine conflict, but Poland later said it was likely caused by a stray surface-to-air missile fired by Kyiv’s forces.
“We’ll continue to work closely with our ally Poland and others to gather more information, and we’ll continue to consult closely with our NATO allies and our valued partners,” Austin says as he opens a virtual meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, which is made up of dozens of countries that back Kyiv.
“What we do know is the context in which this is unfolding. Russia is facing setback after setback on the battlefield, and Russia is putting Ukrainian civilians and civilian infrastructure in its gunsights,” he adds.