HomeInternational NewsTwo Polish men killed by missile strike near Ukrainian border identities confirmed

Two Polish men killed by missile strike near Ukrainian border identities confirmed

Two Polish men killed by missile strike near Ukrainian border identities confirmed

The victims killed when a Russian-made missile crossed into Poland and hit the eastern region of the country were identified Wednesday.

The two innocent victims struck by a stray missile in Poland have been named as farm workers whose deaths have left their families distraught.

Boguslaw Wos, 62, the foreman of a grain warehouse, and Bogdan Ciupek, 60, a tractor driver, died in the explosion Tuesday in the eastern village of Przewodów, Metro UK reported.

Wos had worked at the grain processing plant for 40 years, and Ciupek drove a tractor at the site, citing local media.

The missile happened to hit the only agricultural building in an expanse of open fields, killing the two men instantly, according to local mayor, Grzegorz Drewnik.

It’s understood that Ciupek had just arrived at the warehouse driving a tractor full of grain as Wos waited to unload it when the missile struck.

A neighbour told local media: “We all know each other, it’s not a big town. We have never experienced such a tragedy. They were good people.”

Another neighbour told interia.pl: “Boguslaw went to work as usual and at around 4pm his wife realised that something bad had happened.

“Some of the neighbours, out of compassion and curiosity, wanted to visit his wife but she was in a frenzy, she did not want to talk, she looked into the distance and cried. She was in terrible shock.”

Tuesday’s explosion was an immediate cause for concern, as it was at first unclear whether it was an intentional strike. A preliminary assessment later suggested the missile was fired by Ukrainian forces aiming at an incoming Russian missile.

“Ukraine’s defense was launching their missiles in various directions and it is highly probable that one of these missiles, unfortunately, fell on Polish territory,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said. “There is nothing, absolutely nothing, to suggest that it was an intentional attack on Poland.”

For many residents of the village of Przewodów, there was a moment of relief when they learned the strike appeared to have been an accident.

“Everyone has in the back of their mind that we are right near the border and that an armed conflict with Russia would expose us directly,” Grzegorz Drewnik told Reuters. “That’s the biggest fear. If this is a mistake of the Ukrainians, there should be no major consequences, but I’m not an expert here.”

NATO leaders on Wednesday held an emergency meeting in Brussels, where Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg emphasized there was no evidence that Russia launched an offensive attack on a NATO member.

“We have no indication that this was the result of a deliberate attack,” Stoltenberg said, adding that he wanted to “be clear” that “this is not Ukraine’s fault.”

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

President Biden said Tuesday evening it was “unlikely” that the deadly strike had been fired by Russia, but pledged support for Poland’s investigation into the incident.

Poland said it would invoke NATO’s Article 4, a formal call for allies to meet about a security threat, but it’s unclear if they still will after findings suggested that the blast was caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile.

Though Ukraine initially blamed Moscow, Russia has said it had nothing to do with the deadly blast.

The explosion came as Russia has amped up its missile attacks in recent weeks, looking to target Ukrainian energy infrastructure. It was also the first time a NATO country has been struck during the nearly nine-month-long war in Ukraine.

Poland held emergency talks with some of its NATO allies on Tuesday after the explosion.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly, who is attending a G20 summit in Indonesia, said Canada is “in contact with Poland as well as with our partners” as she expressed her condolences. “We are following the situation very closely and of course we will be having important meetings today with allies.”

Part of this article was reported by Reuters.