November 16, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Tara Subramaniam, Sana Noor Haq, Ed Upright, Adrienne Vogt, Aditi Sangal and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 1:02 a.m. ET, November 17, 2022
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8:16 a.m. ET, November 16, 2022

After Russia's missile barrage, NATO's top priority is more air defense systems for Ukraine

From CNN's Radina Gigova and Allegra Goodwin

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses the media after an emergency meeting over Poland in Brussels, Belgium, on November 16.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses the media after an emergency meeting over Poland in Brussels, Belgium, on November 16. (Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed one of the alliance's top priorities is to provide more air defense systems to Kyiv, after Russia launched its biggest wave of missile attacks on Ukrainian cities in more than a month on Tuesday.

"Our main priority now or one of the top priorities now is to provide more air defense systems for Ukraine," Stoltenberg said.

Stoltenberg added he has spoken with Polish President Andrzej Duda and US President Joe Biden, after a missile landed in eastern Poland on Tuesday and killed two people near the border with Ukraine. 

The NATO chief said in the same news conference that preliminary analysis suggests the Poland missile incident was "likely" caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile, adding: "This is not Ukraine's fault. Russia bears ultimate responsibility, as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine." 

The explosion marked the first time a NATO country has been directly hit during Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with global leaders working to allay fears of a potential escalation in the conflict as a result of the strike.

"We agreed that we need to stay vigilant, calm and closely coordinated. We will continue to consult and monitor the situation very closely," Stoltenberg said.

"NATO stands united, and we will always do what is necessary to protect and defend all allies."

8:09 a.m. ET, November 16, 2022

Germany offers to help Poland patrol airspace after missile incident

From CNN’s Chris Stern in Berlin and Eve Brennan in London

A Eurofighter of the German Air Force Tactical Air Wing 74 flies above Konztanza, Romania, on March 2.
A Eurofighter of the German Air Force Tactical Air Wing 74 flies above Konztanza, Romania, on March 2. (Christophe Gateau/picture alliance/Getty Images)

Germany on Wednesday said it will offer support to Poland to help patrol Polish airspace in light of the missile explosion on Tuesday. 

"As an immediate reaction to the incident in Poland, we will offer to strengthen air policing with combat air patrols over its airspace with German Eurofighters," German Defence Ministry spokesperson Christian Thiels said at a press conference. 

"The mission could begin as early as tomorrow, if Poland desired," he added.  

"The jets do not need to be relocated to Poland. Patrols could take off from German airbases and return here after each mission,” Thiels said. 

German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht is planning to speak to her Polish counterpart on the matter on Wednesday, he added. 

Deputy spokesperson for the German government, Wolfgang Buechner, said at the same news conference that Chancellor Olaf Scholz has spoken to Polish President Andrzej Duda on the phone and offered Berlin's support. 

“There is no question that we are standing very closely by Poland's side and will of course not leave Poland alone in this situation,” said Buechner. 

8:07 a.m. ET, November 16, 2022

NATO head says missile that hit Poland was likely fired by Ukraine's defenses, but Russia bears "ultimate responsibility"

From CNN's Radina Gigova and Allegra Goodwin 

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg holds a news conference at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on November 16.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg holds a news conference at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on November 16. (Yves Herman/Reuters)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that early investigations suggest a deadly strike in Poland on Tuesday was "likely" caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile.

"Our preliminary analysis suggests that the incident was likely caused by the Ukrainian air defense missile fired to defend Ukrainian territory against Russian cruise missile attacks," Stoltenberg said during a Wednesday news conference in Brussels. 

But let me be clear, this is not Ukraine's fault," he added. "Russia bears ultimate responsibility, as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine." 

"We have no indication that Russia is preparing offensive military actions against NATO," the alliance chief said.

The landing of a deadly missile in eastern Poland near the border with Ukraine on Tuesday marked the first time a NATO country had been directly hit during the conflict. Leaders at the G20 summit in Bali have since scrambled to diffuse the fallout from the incident.

Stoltenberg also said the missile incident demonstrates the war "continues to create dangerous situations" and that the conflict is "President [Vladimir] Putin's responsibility."

"I think this [missile incident] demonstrates the dangers are connected to the ongoing war in Ukraine, but hasn't changed our fundamental assessment of the threat against the NATO allies," he said. 

Stoltenberg said the investigation into the missile incident in Poland is ongoing and NATO will continue to monitor the situation "very closely." 

"We need to stay vigilant, calm and closely coordinated," he said. 

Watch here for more:

7:46 a.m. ET, November 16, 2022

Ukraine Air Force will "do everything" to cooperate with investigation into Poland missile strike

From CNN's Julia Kesaieva in Kyiv

Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat holds a briefing at the Ukraine-Ukrinform Media Center, Kyiv, Ukraine, on June 14.
Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat holds a briefing at the Ukraine-Ukrinform Media Center, Kyiv, Ukraine, on June 14. (Pavlo_Bagmut/Ukrinform/Future Publishing/Getty Images)

The Ukrainian Air Force said it will “do everything” to facilitate an investigation into a missile strike in Poland on Tuesday that killed two people near the border with Ukraine.

“What happened was the Air Defense Force repelling the air attack,” Yurii Ihnat, spokesperson for Air Force Command Ukraine, said on Wednesday.

“What happened next – whether it was a Russian missile, or this was the wreckage of both rockets falling – this has to be inspected at the site. And that is what is happening right now.”

What happened yesterday is obviously the consequences of the war.” 

“It is necessary to provide a legal assessment," Ihnat added. "The process is ongoing, the experts are working. It is necessary to establish which missile wreckage these were, I don't think it would be too difficult.”

“We advocate for a joint examination of the incident with the missile’s landing in Poland,” Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, said on Twitter.

“We are ready to hand over evidence of the Russian trace that we have. We are expecting information from our partners, based on which a conclusion was made that it’s a Ukrainian air defense missile.”

The comments came as the Russian defense ministry said Ukraine’s air defense system is responsible for the strike, calling assertions blaming “Russian missiles” for being behind the explosion “a deliberate provocation with the aim of escalating the situation.”

Ihnat also made reference to an incident at the end of October, when a Russian missile intercepted by the Ukrainian military fell on a village in Moldova.

“This is a really resonant situation, but this is not the first time,” he said. In that case, he explained a Russian missile was downed by Kyiv “after crossing the Ukrainian border with Moldova. The wreckage of a missile fell on the territory of Moldova.”

7:45 a.m. ET, November 16, 2022

Paragraph on Ukraine war was the "most debated" section of G20 leaders’ declaration

From CNN's Nectar Gan and Niamh Kennedy

Indonesian President Joko Widodo makes a statement as he holds a press conference within the last day of the G20 Leaders' Summit in Bali, Indonesia on November 16.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo makes a statement as he holds a press conference within the last day of the G20 Leaders' Summit in Bali, Indonesia on November 16. (Emin Sansar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The paragraph on the war in Ukraine was the most intensely discussed section of the G20 joint leaders’ declaration, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said Wednesday.

"The most debated paragraph is only one paragraph, which is our stance on the war in Ukraine. Until late midnight yesterday we discussed this, and in the end the Bali leaders' declaration was agreed unanimously in consensus," Joko told journalists during a news conference on wrapping up the G20 summit in Indonesia.

"Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine" and emphasized the "immense human suffering" it is inflicting on the country, according to the declaration also published Wednesday.

The 17-page document is not signed by individual attending leaders and acknowledged a difference of opinion at the summit, where scrutiny had fallen on China and India as Western countries pushed for a strong denunciation of the war in the closing statement.

“There were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions,” the document said.

“Recognizing that the G20 is not the forum to resolve security issues, we acknowledge that security issues can have significant consequences for the global economy.”

“We agreed that the war has negative impact to the global economy, and the global economic recovery will also not be achieved without any peace," Joko added.

G20 leaders scrambled to alleviate a potential escalation in the conflict after a missile struck Poland on Tuesday and killed two people near the border with Ukraine, marking the first time a NATO member has been directly hit during the war.

Polish President Andrzej Duda later said there is "no indication" that the missile was an "intentional attack" on the country and was probably an accident from Ukrainian air defenses.

CNN’s Sandi Sidhu and Ivan Watson in Bali contributed reporting.

8:07 a.m. ET, November 16, 2022

Poland's president says missile that hit the country is "probably an accident" from Ukrainian defenses

From CNN's Anna Odzeniak, Sugam Pokharel and Eve Brennan

Polish President Andrzej Duda speaks during a news conference at the National Security Bureau headquarters in Warsaw, Poland, on November. 16
Polish President Andrzej Duda speaks during a news conference at the National Security Bureau headquarters in Warsaw, Poland, on November. 16 (Pawel Supern/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Polish President Andrzej Duda has said that the missile that hit his country on Tuesday was "probably an accident" from Ukraine's air defenses.

"There is no indication that this was an intentional attack on Poland. Most likely, it was a Russian-made S-300 rocket. We have no proof at the moment that it was a missile fired by the Russian side," he tweeted Wednesday.

Duda said during a news conference that the strike was "probably an accident" as Ukraine intercepted a barrage of incoming Russian missiles.

“There is a high chance" that one of the Ukrainian air defense missiles fell on Poland's territory, he said. Two people were killed in the incident.

“Probably it was shot by the Ukrainian Air Defense, and unfortunately, it fell onto Polish territory,” he said.  

“It wasn't a big explosion, but still it was an explosion,” the president added. He reiterated that nothing shows that it was an “intentional attack” against Poland.  

Duda also said that Poland has increased combat readiness of its forces. He also said that he spoke to US President Joe Biden about increasing combat readiness of the US Air Force Base in Poland. 

The missile hitting eastern Poland marked the first time a NATO country had been directly hit during the conflict.

Watch here for more:

6:04 a.m. ET, November 16, 2022

Kyiv power supply is "complicated" after Tuesday's missile strikes

From CNN's Julia Kesaieva

The power supply in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv has been left in a “complicated” situation, according to officials, following Russia’s missile strikes targeting critical infrastructure on Tuesday.

“The power supply network of Kyiv is united with the national power supply system,” the city's mayor, Vitalii Klitschko, said on Telegram.

“And yesterday the enemy hit many objects in Ukraine. This was the reason for massive blackouts. Now the system has been stabilized. But the situation with energy shortage remains difficult.”

The attacks hampered residents' access to electricity in multiple Ukrainian regions, leading to both scheduled and unscheduled and emergency power outages on Wednesday.

7:26 a.m. ET, November 16, 2022

Polish foreign minister meeting with Russian ambassador lasted "only four minutes"

From CNN's Antonia Mortensen and Radina Gigova

Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Zbigniew Rau looks on during a press conference on May 24, in Berlin, Germany.
Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Zbigniew Rau looks on during a press conference on May 24, in Berlin, Germany. (Filip Singer/Getty Images)

A meeting between Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau and the summoned Russian ambassador to Poland, Sergey Andreyev, following the landing of a deadly missile on Polish territory lasted "only four minutes," according to a government spokesperson.

“He (Andreyev) was received, but without any exchange of courtesy, without shaking hands, by Minister Zbigniew Rau and the delegation accompanying him. Our diplomatic note was read to the ambassador, which is similar to the communiqué we published. The ambassador accepted the position and left,” Lukasz Jasina, a spokesman for Poland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said.

Jasna told Polish national radio that the Russian ambassador, who was summoned by Poland on Tuesday after the missile struck eastern Poland, appeared around midnight for the meeting. 

Poland said a "Russian-made" missile hit the country on Tuesday, killing two people. The incident marks the first time a NATO country has been directly hit during the conflict. It is not known who fired the missile, or precisely where it was fired from.

In another interview, Poland's Deputy Foreign Minister Paweł Jabłoński said on RMF FM Radio that Foreign Minister Rau demanded Andreyev to explain the situation during the meeting. 

“There is a very high probability that we are dealing with a consequence of Russia's actions," Jabłoński said. 

"These consequences for the first time since the outbreak of the war – this is something that we assumed could happen, but it happened yesterday – affected Poland, Polish territory, Polish citizens died.”  

7:26 a.m. ET, November 16, 2022

Poland missile incident likely caused by Ukraine air defense, Belgian minister says

From CNN’s Saskya Vandoorne and Eve Brennan

The explosion that occurred outside the Polish village of Przewodow on Tuesday was likely a result of Ukraine's air defense system intercepting an incoming Russian missile, according to Belgium’s Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder.  

“Based on current information, the strikes in #Poland seem to be a result of Ukrainian air defense,” Dedonder tweeted Wednesday.    

“Pieces of Russian missiles and a Ukrainian interception missile are said to have landed in Poland. To be confirmed by ongoing investigations,” she added.