Zelensky Accused of Trying to Start World War III Over Missile Strike

Several social media users accused Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky of attempting to lead the world into a new war over a missile strike that hit Poland and left two individuals dead.

"UKRAINE tried to start WW3 yesterday when a UKRAINIAN missile struck a NATO country and killed innocent civilians. Ukrainian leaders LIED and BLAMED RUSSIA. The AP wrote it up unquestioningly," conservative commentator Benny Johnson wrote on Twitter. "Ukrainian Leaders LIED to try and initiate full-blown WW3. These are the facts."

The tweet comes shortly after there were reports that a "Russian-made" missile struck Polish territory near the area of Przewodow. Following the reports, Zelensky said that it was a "really significant escalation" amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

"This is a Russian missile attack on collective security! This is a really significant escalation. Action is needed," Zelensky said in a video following the reports.

Poland
A police van patrols the roads around the blast site on November 16 in Przewodow, Poland. On Wednesday, many social media users criticized Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for comments he made about a missile that struck Poland. Omar Marques/Getty Images

However, on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, several officials from the U.S., Poland and NATO disputed that the missile was launched by Russia as a deliberate attack against Poland, who is a member of NATO.

"There is preliminary information that contests that. I don't want to say that until we completely investigate," President Joe Biden said on Tuesday. "It's unlikely, in the minds of the trajectory, that it was fired from Russia. But we'll see."

Poland's President Andrzej Duda also made comments on the strike, saying, "We have no evidence at the moment that it was a rocket launched by Russian forces," NPR reported.

"However, there are many indications that it was a missile that was used by Ukraine's anti-missile defense," the Polish president added.

NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also said that the missile was likely a stray strike from Ukrainian defense forces but added, "This is not Ukraine's fault. Russia bears ultimate responsibility as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine."

In addition to Johnson, several other Twitter users criticized Ukraine and Zelensky's initial comments following the reports of the missile strike.

"Zelensky is one of the most dangerous psychopaths on the planet right now. He is determined to start another world war," conservative podcast host Matt Walsh wrote in a tweet.

Entrepreneur Blair Brandt wrote, "So it's now confirmed that Zelensky's military, perhaps accidentally, sent missiles into Poland and then tried to use it as an excuse for NATO to start WWIII. This is not the act of a hero who wants to save the world or de-escalate."

Donald Trump Jr. also responded to the news and said on Twitter, "Since it was Ukraine's missile that hit our NATO ally Poland, can we at least stop spending billions to arm them now?"

According to Reuters, the Russian Defense Ministry issued a statement on Tuesday denying that it fired a missile to Poland and said that the reports were a "deliberate provocation aimed at escalating the situation."

Newsweek reached out to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry for comment.