Poland put its military on heightened readiness Tuesday after Russian missiles reportedly landed inside the NATO member’s borders in a potentially major escalation of the war in Ukraine.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of firing the missiles into Poland, but there was no immediate confirmation from either Warsaw or Washington, and Moscow dismissed the reported strikes as a “provocation” intended to escalate tensions.
The possible strikes, which allegedly killed two people, drew widespread condemnation, with European Union chief Charles Michel saying he was “shocked” and French President Emmanuel Macron calling for talks at the G20 summit underway in Indonesia.
Warsaw put its military on heightened alert after an emergency national security council meeting.
“There has been a decision to raise the state of readiness of some combat units and other uniformed services,” spokesman Piotr Muller told reporters after the meeting in Warsaw.
The US State Department said Washington “will determine what happened and what appropriate next steps would be.”
Poland is protected by NATO’s commitment to collective defence — enshrined in Article 5 of its founding treaty — but even if a cross-border strike is confirmed, the alliance’s response would likely be heavily influenced by whether it was accidental or intentional.
“Today Russian missiles hit Poland, the territory of an allied country. People died”, Zelensky said in an address to the nation, describing the alleged strikes as “a very significant escalation.”
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted to call for NATO members to convene an “immediate” summit.
Hungary, also a NATO member which borders Ukraine, convened its national defence council in response to the reports, a spokesman for Prime Minister Viktor Orban said.
The reports came after Russian missile strikes hit cities across Ukraine Tuesday — including Lviv near the border with Poland — which Kyiv said cut power to seven million homes.
Moldova, which also borders Ukraine, reported power cuts because of the missiles fired at its neighbour and called on Moscow to “stop the destruction now”.