The Przewodów Missile
NATO has sounded the “all-clear” for the missile impact in Poland. German politicians had falsely accused Moscow, thereby arousing fear of a NATO/Russia confrontation.
BERLIN/WASHINGTON/WARSAW (Own report) –NATO has sounded the all-clear, following Tuesday’s impact of a missile in Przewodów, Poland. The missile that killed two people had neither been launched by Russian military forces, nor are there indications that the Russian military offensive is directed against a member of the alliance, announced NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg yesterday. On Tuesday, leading politicians from various European countries – including the Chair of the Defense Committee of the German Bundestag – had accused Russia, without the slightest bit of evidence, of having fired the missile, thereby arousing fears that this could lead to a direct confrontation between NATO and ‘Russia. Something similar had happened already in March, when demands for a no-fly zone over Ukraine were made, also in Germany – a sure path for NATO being at war with Russia. This war policy is in line with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s demand that Russia be driven into “a strategic defeat.” However, a solid majority of the population is speaking out in favor of negotiations to end the war.
The missile that struck a farm in Eastern Poland’s Przewodów, near the Ukrainian border, killing two people, had not been launched by Russian forces. This was confirmed yesterday by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Tuesday evening, the missile impact had aroused widespread unrest, particularly after the Polish government was convened in an emergency session and “some military combat units and other uniformed services put on high alert,” according to a government spokesperson. It is now known that US experts were already assuming that due to the missile’s flight path, it could not have been a Russian attack. Photos of the point of impact soon showed that the debris from the missile matched exactly that of the old Soviet S-300 anti-aircraft system, that numerous countries are using, including Ukraine. Indeed, yesterday, following the investigation of the incident by NATO specialists, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg explicitly announced “our preliminary analysis suggests that the incident was likely caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile.”
Even though yesterday it had been possible to gain some clarity about the rocket fire on Przewodów, on Tuesday, already, the initial reactions by leading politicians in several EU countries – Germany included – demonstrated a remarkable willingness to escalate, eventually even up to the threshold of a world war. Even before the shelling was rudimentarily cleared up, Latvia’s Defense Minister Artis Pabriks tweeted, in full awareness of the consequences, “the criminal Russian regime had fired the missiles, that ... also hit NATO territory in Poland.“ Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted, Moscow spreads the “conspiracy theory, that a missile of the Ukrainian air defense allegedly came down on Polish territory.” “No one should believe Russian propaganda.” Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, Chair of the Defense Committee in the German Bundestag also tweeted, “Russian Missiles” have apparently hit Poland and thus NATO territory.” “That is the Russia, with whom some here are obviously and absurdly still wanting to negotiate with.” The Vice-Chair of the FDP Parliamentary group, Alexander Count Lambsdorff, expressed similar views.
Nuclear War? “Don’t Worry!”
The apparent willingness to engage NATO in a war with Russia is nothing new. It had already been demonstrated soon after Russia’s entry into Ukraine, when, in March, demands to impose a no-fly zone over Ukrainian territory were raised. That would have required taking out Russia’s westward-aimed anti-aircraft defenses with aerial attacks, so that the West can take control of Ukrainian airspace for NATO surveillance jets. In addition, Russian jets penetrating Ukrainian airspace would have to be immediately shot down, both would, in fact, have launched a war between NATO and Russia. In mid-March, Estonia’s Defense Minister Kalle Laanet called for “all the countries that can monitor a no-fly zone must act.” Around the same time, in Germany, the President of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), Thomas Enders, declared that NATO should “at least, impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine’s six to eight western Oblasts. The Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany at the time, Andriy Melnyk, had complained of the lack of implementation willingness, saying “fear” is “now the advisor:” “Nuclear war – Oh my God, just do nothing, so that we won’t risk anything.”
This absolute willingness to escalate corresponds to a categorical refusal to negotiate, which would, at least, be aimed toward reaching a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine. For example, the Chair of the SPD Parliamentary Group, Rolf Mützenich’s demand that there must be “more diplomacy,” was met with fierce resentment. In his plea on October 23, Mützenich pointed out that with diplomatic means, important victories were already won in the Ukraine war, such as the agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea. Of course, this was not negotiated by Berlin or the EU, but rather by Turkey in close collaboration with the United Nations. Mützenich was attacked in the sharpest terms for his initiative not only by Green Party politicians but even by the Chair of the SPD, Saskia Esken. The strategic reason behind the refusal to enter negotiations can be derived from a paper Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and her French counterpart Catherine Colonna had written awhile ago, segments of which are now reaching the public. In this paper, they declare that Russia must be “deterred,” “contained,” and “internationally isolated,” therefore, “the war against Ukraine must be transformed into a strategic defeat [for Russia].”
Just for Show
The objective pursued by Berlin’s political elite, to remove Russia as a power factor, is supported by the leading German media, but not by the German population. Already in late August, a survey in Germany indicated that 77 percent favored initiating concrete efforts for negotiations to end the war, with only 17 percent opposing. Even a poll in the United States in September showed that 57% support diplomatic negotiations with just 32% opposed. To prevent further resentment, the Biden administration recently encouraged Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky to drop his public refusal to engage in peace talks unless President Vladimir Putin is removed from power and to signal an openness to negotiate with Russia. Only by displaying a willingness to negotiate can one win over public opinion in the long run. In Washington, however, it was added that this is only for external effect, Zelensky should not really enter negotiations. The Ukrainian president immediately complied with the request and stopped insisting on the overthrow of his counterpart. However, actual negotiations are not taking place.
 Keine Anzeichen für gezielten Angriff auf Polen. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 17.11.2022.
 Till Fähnders, Gerhard Gnauck, Thomas Gutschker, Friedrich Schmidt, Reinhard Veser: Eine Rakete erschüttert die Nato. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 17.11.2022.
 Strack-Zimmermann: „Das ist das Russland, mit dem hier einige immer noch ‘verhandeln‘ wollen“. focus.de 15.11.2022.
 Geteiltes Echo auf Polens Vorstoß für Friedensmission. zeit.de 16.03.2022.
 Thomas Enders: Flugverbotszone im Westen der Ukraine einrichten. augengeradeaus.net 15.03.2022.
 Christian Bartlau: „Anne Will“: Ukraines Botschafter Melnyk wütet gegen Ampel und Annalena Baerbock – „Ausrede!“ web.de 08.03.2022. See also Der Wille zum Weltkrieg.
 Mützenich erntet Kritik aus der eigenen Koalition. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 25.10.2022.
 Thomas Gutschker: Eindämmen und abschrecken. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 15.11.2022.
 Mehrheit will, dass Westen Verhandlungen anstößt. n-tv.de 02.09.2022.
 John Haltiwanger: New poll signals Americans are growing tired of support for Ukraine without diplomacy as the war against Russia drags on. businessinsider.com 27.09.2022.
 Missy Ryan, John Hudson, Paul Sonne: U.S. privately asks Ukraine to show it’s open to negotiate with Russia. washingtonpost.com 05.11.2022.