Zelenskiy Softens Stance on Rocket Origin After Biden Comment

Ukraine’s president appeared to soften his insistence that it was only a Russian missile that caused a lethal blast in Poland this week and said a team would investigate after US President Joe Biden disputed the claim.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy said his military officials had told him that images of the crater at the blast site suggested it couldn’t have been caused solely by the remnants of a Ukrainian anti-air rocket. 

He said he “was sure that it was a Russian missile” but also that he was certain Ukraine had launched weapons to defend against a Russian barrage. Ukraine shot down more than 70 of the almost 100 rockets that Moscow fired on Tuesday, according to Ukrainian officials.

“I don’t know 100% — I think the world also doesn’t 100% know what happened,” Zelenskiy said in an interview at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore on Thursday. “We can’t say specifically that this was the air defense of Ukraine.”

The incident, which killed two men at a farm 6 kilometers (4 miles) inside Polish territory, was a sobering reminder of the risk Russia’s war against Ukraine could spill over the borders into a NATO member and potentially trigger an open conflict between nuclear-armed powers.