ODESA, Ukraine — Debris from a Russian missile shot down by Ukrainian air defenses landed in a border village in Moldova, officials in the country said on Monday, in one of the clearest instances of violence from the war spilling into another European nation.
Russia has previously fired drones and missiles over Moldova into Ukraine, prompting diplomatic protests from the government there. On Monday, after the interception of the missile, which was the first known to have come down in Moldovan territory, Moldova’s government renewed its condemnation of Russian strikes against Ukraine.
But Moldova’s deputy interior minister, Sergiu Diaconu, said that the incident would “be considered as an accident. It wasn’t a direct strike.”
According to a statement from the Moldovan government, parts of the Russian missile landed in the village of Naslavcea, across the Dnister River from Ukrainian territory, causing minor damage. Mr. Diaconu said that some windows were broken and children were sent home from school, but there were no reports of injuries.
“We are investigating if there are any remaining explosives,” he said. “We are investigating what the damages are.”
A Ukrainian border guard officer, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said that Ukrainian forces observed the impact on the Moldovan side of the border along the Dnister River. The officer said that Russian forces appeared to be targeting a hydroelectric power plant on Ukrainian territory. One missile hit the plant, while air defenses shot down at least one other, he said.
Earlier this month, after Moldova said that three Russian missiles flew over its airspace on Oct. 10, Moldova’s minister of foreign affairs, Nico Popescu, summoned Russia’s ambassador to Chișinau to protest.
On Monday, Mr. Popescu said that the Moldovan government “condemns in strongest possible terms Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine.”
“The appalling strikes on critical infrastructure reverberate beyond Ukraine’s borders and pose a direct threat to Moldova’s energy — and human — security,” he tweeted.
Maria Varenikova reported from Odesa and Monika Pronczuk from Brussels.
Source link here