On November 15, a large-scale Russian attack on the Ukrainian energy infrastructure took place. As a result of the attack, 15 energy facilities were damaged. More than 7 million subscribers were disconnected from energy consumption. The missile attacks caused a malfunction of the high-voltage line Isakcha-Vulkashenti-MDRES, which led to disconnections from electricity to subscribers in Moldova. This power line supplies electricity from Romania to Moldova.
The energy system suffered significant damage, and in order to balance Ukraine’s electricity supply, schedules were introduced to cut off consumers’ electricity. At that time, it was the most massive attack by the Russian Federation.
Battle for the sky: how Ukrainian air defense competes with Russian missile power
The Russian Federation has attacked the critical infrastructure of Ukraine more than once, starting with the shelling on October 10, 2022. On October 10, Ukrainian Air Defense Forces shot down 45 out of 84 Russian missiles, on October 11 they shot down 20 out of 28 Russian missiles, during a mass attack on October 31, Air Defense Forces shot down 45 out of 55 missiles.
Despite such optimistic indicators, the Ukrainian military still requires more air defense and anti-missile defense equipment.
On September 10, the deputy head of the Office of the President Andrii Sybiga said that «Ukraine continues to work on obtaining security guarantees in order to protect itself from new aggression from Russia. One of the main guarantees should be the so-called «air shield». «Air shield» refers to providing Ukraine with means that will help protect the sky from Russian missiles and aviation.»
This mass shelling can be considered as a kind of revenge for the liberation of Kherson*. It was the only regional center of Ukraine captured by the Russian Federation during a full-scale invasion.
* Kherson was released on November 11. In order to shift the emphasis on the information subpoena, the Russian Federation could use the following method, which is familiar to it, related to the terror of civil infrastructure.
A missile of discord or unity?
On November 15, the fall of a rocket on the territory of Poland caused the death of two people, workers at a local enterprise. This event could cause the beginning of a serious escalation of the conflict, but the comments of the heads of state and diplomatic speakers were surprisingly restrained. Let’s find out how the rocket caused another surge of unity with Ukraine among Western democracies.
The spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland reported that at 15:40 (local time) a Russian-made rocket fell in the village of Przewodów, Hrubeszów County, Lublin Voivodeship, as a result of which two citizens of the Republic of Poland were killed.
Also, the spokesman of the ministry, Lukash Yasin, exposed the ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and demanded immediate detailed explanations.
On the night of November 15-16, Polish special services began to establish the causes of the explosions.
What was the reaction of Ukraine?
- President Volodymyr Zelensky is convinced that the missile that fell on Tuesday in Poland was not Ukrainian.
- Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov said that the Ukrainian authorities have doubts that the missile that fell in Poland on November 15 belonged to the Ukrainian air defense forces. According to the results of the Headquarters of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, this was said at a meeting held on November 16.
- Adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Vadym Denysenko, shared his opinion about what Russia will do, «They will 100% say this, they will spread the story as much as possible that NATO is afraid of us, that NATO will never come to us.»
Thus, Ukrainian officials and officials, commenting on this incident, insist that the missile that fell in Poland was Russian.
- The Prime Minister of Poland emphasized that the government wants to find out all the details of the tragic event in Przewodów as soon as possible.
- On November 16, the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, said that the incident with the falling of rockets in Przewodów was not an attack on his country, most likely, it was an «accident».
- Minister of Justice of Poland Zbigniew Ziobro said that the remains of the Russian S-300 missile, which is in service with the Russian and Ukrainian armies, were found at the site of the explosion in Przewodów, Poland.
- Poland’s ambassador to the EU, Andrzej Sados, said that all EU member states expressed their full support and solidarity with the Polish government.
- The Ministry of Defense of Russia denied the information that Russian missiles hit Poland, calling it a «deliberate provocation aimed at escalating the situation.»
- The head of Russia’s permanent mission to the UN, Dmytro Polyanskyi, said that the explosion in a village near the border with Ukraine, which killed two people, was an attempt to provoke a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.
US President Joe Biden called it «unlikely» that the missile that fell on the territory of Poland was launched from Russia. He stated this after a meeting with NATO and G7 leaders in Bali.
The White House emphasized, «whatever the final conclusions are, it is clear that the party bearing full responsibility for this tragic incident is Russia, which fired missiles into Ukraine specifically designed to hit civilian infrastructure. Ukraine had — and has — the full right to defend itself. We once again express our solidarity with the people of Ukraine and our condolences for the losses they suffered as a result of these barbaric airstrikes. We know that millions of Ukrainians remain without electricity, water, and basic necessities. Our thoughts and prayers are again with the relatives of the two Polish citizens who died tragically.»
Ukrainian military expert Oleg Zhdanov assumes that the missile was shot down by Ukraine and the debris fell on the territory of Poland. And there were 2 missiles.
After a meeting of the National Security Bureau on November 15, a government spokesman said: «Services will be working through the night to investigate.»
On November 17, the head of Poland’s International Policy Bureau, Jakub Kumoch, gave a similar explanation that the air defense missile failed to shoot down the Russian target it was trying to intercept; then «the self-destruct system failed and that missile led to the tragedy.»
On the same day, Jakub Kumoch, chief adviser to the President of Poland on foreign policy, said that Ukrainian investigators would probably be given access to the site of the explosion. But on November 21, Ukraine was not given access to the investigation of the Polish prosecutor’s office.
- On November 18, Ukraine was integrated into the NATO defense-industrial complex and will jointly produce weapons and military equipment with 6 member countries of the Alliance.
- Prime Minister of Great Britain Rishi Sunak visited Kyiv on November 19 and met with President Volodymyr Zelensky. He promised to provide Ukraine with additional military aid, including 120 anti-aircraft guns.
- On November 22, the United States of America provided Ukraine with 4.5 billion dollars as additional direct budget support. The money will begin to be paid out in the coming weeks and will go towards salaries for hospital workers, civil servants and teachers, as well as social assistance for the elderly and the vulnerable.
- On November 24, the European Parliament approved the allocation of 18 billion euros for Ukraine. The European Parliament also decided not to accept Russian passports issued by the Russians in the occupied territories of Ukraine.
- On November 26, Belgium decided to provide Ukraine with mobile laboratories and underwater drones. Laboratories can be deployed near the site of a chemical, bacteriological, radiological or nuclear incident, and underwater drones will detect any underwater threats, whether mines or spy devices.
- Lithuania has prepared a new aid package for Ukraine in the energy sector worth more than two million euros. And we will continue to provide additional financial and humanitarian assistance to help internally displaced people in Ukraine survive the winter. The Canadian government allocated 10 million dollars for the purchase of generators for Ukraine. They will be delivered to support critical infrastructure in Ukraine.
- On November 29, the United States allocating an additional $53 million for key equipment to restore Ukraine’s energy system after Russian missile strikes.
The missile attack on Poland did not lead to a split in the NATO countries. Western countries are consistently helping Ukraine build an effective and modern missile defense system. Attempts to accuses Ukraine of shelling the territory of Poland have failed and the statements of world leaders and key players emphasize support for Ukraine’s efforts to protect its territory and airspace.