A spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, Yuriy Ignat, revealed details of a fierce battle in the sky near the Polish border in western Ukraine after Russia fired no fewer than 20 missiles on Tuesday. in minutes, for which the Ukrainian air defenses responded with 30 missiles.
Yuriy Ignat said on Friday in an interview that the attack that targeted the energy infrastructure in Ukraine on Tuesday was the largest of its kind, as a total of 96 missiles are known to have been fired, of which 77 were shot down.
The same spokesman stressed that the missiles that fell on Poland could be the result of the Ukrainian defense during this battle.
The Ukrainian official’s comments come, according to the Washington Post, in what appears to be a “softening” of his country’s position, which initially insisted that the missile that killed Polish grain workers was not Ukrainian, despite preliminary results indicating that it belonged to Ukrainian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles.
After Poland announced that a missile had landed on its territory, President Volodymyr Zelensky said there was “no doubt” that the missiles were Russian, before stating in later that he could not be “100%” sure that the missiles were not Ukrainian.
A spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Defense Forces said his country shot down 15 Russian missiles near the border with Poland, but at least five more hit targets near the Polish side. Which means that Russia has launched at least 20 missiles in thearea.
He added, in statements reported by the Washington Post, that the Ukrainian air defenses usually fire two anti-missiles for each missile in arrival, “so we can assume that at least 30 missiles were fired on our side.”
Ukrainian experts have joined Polish and American investigators to investigate the cause of the explosion that killed two workers in a grain drying plant in the Polish village of Przyodo, according to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
And Polish President Andrzej Duda announced on Wednesday that the fall of a missile that killed two people on Polish soil on Tuesday appeared to be an “unfortunate accident” and not a “deliberate attack”.
Duda said it was “very likely” that Ukrainian defenses were the source of the missile, which landed in a city on the border with Ukraine.
The Polish president underlined that “nothing indicates that it was a deliberate attack on Poland”. “It is very probable that it was a missile used in Ukrainian missile defense (from the Soviet era). It is very probable that it was an unfortunate accident,” he added.
A spokesman for the Ukrainian air force said: “The source of the missiles that hit Poland does not matter much, whether it is Ukraine or Russia, because Russia bears the ultimate responsibility for the state of war in the region.”
He continued: “Of course, it is necessary to investigate the Polish partners and put an end to this story, because discussing a missile that unfortunately killed two people is a great tragedy”, before adding: “But everyone has forgotten that there were a hundreds of missiles dropped in Ukraine”.
Russia has increasingly resorted to air strikes against infrastructure in recent weeks as winter approaches, according to the American newspaper.
Ukrainian officials point out that Russia is targeting Ukraine’s energy supplies to compensate for battlefield setbacks, after it withdrew last week from the southern city of Kherson, the only major city it has Russia conquered by the February invasion.
Ukrainians are bracing for a harsh winter without adequate heating or lighting, due to severe damage to power and power lines.
The first snow of this winter fell on Thursday, with temperatures expected to drop below zero in Ukrainian cities for the next three months.
Prime Minister Dennis Shmyhal told reporters on Friday that the new strikes exacerbated the effects of previous strikes during October, revealing about half of the energy infrastructure was down today.
The capital, Kyivand the western city of Lviv, hitherto little affected by the war, are among the cities most affected by strikes against energy infrastructure.