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Ballistics specialists at the scene. PA
Russia

Poland missile strike causes disagreement among allies as 'torture chambers' found in liberated Kherson

Russia’s UN ambassador accused Ukraine and Poland of trying ‘to provoke a direct clash between Russia and Nato’.

LAST UPDATE | Nov 17th 2022, 8:00 AM

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR Zelenskyy called for Ukraine’s allies to share “all the data” held on the missile that landed in Poland, which Kyiv insists was fired by Russia, a claim contradicted by Warsaw.

It came as US and Western allies also clashed with Russia at the UN Security Council over responsibility for two deadly missile strike which killed two farm workers. 

Nato’s chief and Poland’s president said yesterday that there was no indication it was a deliberate attack, and was likely an air defence missile launched by Ukraine as it fended off Russian missiles and drones

UN political chief Rosemary DiCarlo called the incident “a frightening reminder of the absolute need to prevent any further escalation” of the nine-month war in Ukraine.

US ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the council: “This tragedy would never have happened but for Russia’s needless invasion of Ukraine and its recent missile assaults against Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure.”

Russia’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia countered, accusing Ukraine and Poland of trying “to provoke a direct clash between Russia and Nato”.

Zelenskyy pointed the finger at Russia, but the United States, like NATO, firmly supported Warsaw’s assessment that the deadly missile was probably fired by Ukraine.

The White House said it had “seen nothing that contradicts” Poland’s preliminary assessment — while also declaring that “the party ultimately responsible for this tragic incident is Russia”.

President Zelensky, however, said Kyiv had seen no proof the missile was Ukrainian, demanding to be part of any investigation and asking for access to the blast site as well as “all the data” on the projectile.

“I have no doubt that this is not our missile,” Zelensky said. “I believe that this was a Russian missile, based on our military reports.

Upon returning from his trip to Asia earlier this morning, US President Joe Biden was asked about Zelenskyy’s claim that the missiles were not from Ukraine. 

“That’s not the evidence,” was Biden’s response. 

Barrage

The disagreements come as Russian strikes continued across several Ukrainian cities today.  

Ms DiCarlo told the UN Security Council that it was Russia hasbeen carrying out its “most intense bombardments” since its February 24 invasion of Ukraine, and the impact “can only worsen during the coming winter months”.

She reiterated that attacks targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure are prohibited under international law, noted that “heavy battles” are continuing in eastern Donetsk and Luhansk and told council members “there is no end in sight to the war”.

‘Torture chambers’ 

Russia’s bombardment follows the withdrawal of its forces from the strategic Kherson region after an eight-month occupation.

In the recaptured territory, Ukraine said it had found numerous landmines as well as several sites that appear to have been used for torturing prisoners.

“The Russians kept local patriots who refused to cooperate with the enemy there in inhumane conditions. Kherson residents were interrogated and brutally tortured,” the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said.

At the sites, the SBU and police officials found objects indicating they had been used for torture.

“Eleven places of imprisonment were discovered, four of which show signs of being torture chambers,” said Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs Denys Monastyrskyi.

So far, 63 bodies had been found, he said.

“But we must understand that the search has only just begun, so many more torture chambers and burial places will be discovered.”

- With reporting by © – AFP 2022

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