US President Biden and his Polish counterpart Duda say the Russian S-300 that killed two people in Poland was fired by Ukrainian troops. President Selenskyi denies that. “Complete nonsense,” says a German weapons expert to FOCUS online.
The excitement surrounding the impact of a Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile on Polish soil, which killed two people on Wednesday night, had just subsided when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj caused renewed unrest.
US President Joe Biden, his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg independently stated on Wednesday that the missile was of Russian design.
However, the remote-controlled weapon was not fired by Russian but by Ukrainian troops and tragically hit the ground of NATO member Poland.
Completely undeterred, however, Zelenskyj then explained that he assumed that the S-300 had been fired directly by Russian troops. He relied on information from his own army, which he “trusted”.
To deny that a missile fired by Russian troops struck NATO territory and claimed human lives makes no sense from a NATO security perspective.
But is it fundamentally conceivable that the presidents of two NATO member countries and the NATO Secretary General got the information wrong?
“No. Selenskyj’s statements are absolute nonsense,” answers the German air force expert Ralph D. Thiele from the “Institute for Strategic, Political, Security and Economic Consulting” (ISPSW) based in Berlin.
NATO has various radar and satellite systems in Europe, including AWACS aircraft. These would record every ballistic movement of such anti-aircraft missiles with centimeter accuracy around the clock.
“Flight path, launch and detonation location can be traced completely and extremely precisely,” said the former Luftwaffe colonel in an interview with FOCUS online.
Retired colonel and business graduate Ralph D. Thiele is Chairman of the Politisch-Militarische Gesellschaft e.V., Berlin, President of EuroDefense (Germany) e.V. and CEO of StratByrd Consulting. During his military career, he was employed in the planning staff of the defense minister, in the private office of the NATO commander-in-chief, as chief of staff at the NATO Defense College, as commander of the Center for Transformation and as director of teaching at the Bundeswehr Command and Staff Academy.
The fact that the parties involved in the war repeatedly twisted the truth is tolerated by all warring parties as a “venial sin”, adds Thiele.
“So do the Russians, the Americans and other nations. And I also think it is justifiable that one or the other warring party wants to make itself stronger than it really is.”
But in this case, the Ukrainian President Zelenskyy “converts the truth in a way that has nothing to do with reality,” says Thiele.
“That’s simply bad style” and, given the security policy explosiveness that such a claim harbors, can no longer be tolerated under any circumstances.
“At this point, only one thing is appropriate in response for the Ukrainian President – and that is to apologize to the Poles for the Ukrainian stray.”
The Ukrainian armed forces are said to have focused heavily on repelling heavy Russian rocket attacks on Tuesday, reports Business Insider.
According to the Ukrainian Air Force, it was the worst attack on the country’s energy supply since the beginning of the war. A Ukrainian S-300 missed an approaching Russian cruise missile, the portal writes, citing NATO circles at headquarters.
But instead of destroying the anti-aircraft missile while still in the air by remote control, which is technically possible, the missile flew on and struck Polish territory.
In the constant fire from the Russian army, the Ukrainian air force apparently simply missed the Russian projectile’s miss, they say – “a tragic accident”. The Ukrainian missile was not supplied by the West.