On Friday, shocking news came from Kyiv: a massive missile attack hit Ukraine. Reportedly, Russia fired around 70 missiles, but only ten struck Ukrainian territory, as the Ukrainian air defence intercepted the rest.
Besides the shock of the massive attack, another piece of information shocked the NATO countries: President Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials claimed that the missiles crossed Romanian territory on their way to Ukraine.
Today, the enemy launched at least 70 missiles in another massive attack. At least 60 missiles were shot down. Their targets were civilians and civilian infrastructure. Unfortunately, there were hits. Unfortunately, there are victims. My condolences to the relatives and friends! Several Russian missiles flew through the airspace of Moldova and Romania. Today’s missiles are a challenge to NATO and collective security. This is a terror that can and must be stopped. Stopped by the world.President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, claiming in Telegram that Russian missiles crossed Romanian territory
This would’ve been a serious incident with significant implications for the world. If Russian missiles used NATO territory to hit Ukraine, this would’ve been the very first spark to ignite an undesirable NATO – Russian direct conflict.
The Ministry of Romanian Defence replied immediately and bluntly denied the information spread by Zelensky. The reply came in a post on Facebook.
The aerial surveillance system of the Romanian Air Force detected on Friday, February 10, an aerial target launched from the Black Sea from a ship of the Russian Federation near the Crimean Peninsula, most likely a cruise missile, which evolved in the airspace of Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and re-entered the Ukrainian airspace without intersecting, at any time, the airspace of Romania. The closest point of the target’s trajectory to Romania’s airspace was recorded by the radar systems approximately 35 kilometres North-East of the border.Romanian Ministry of National Defence on the Russian missiles trajectory – Facebook
According to the Romanian Ministry of National Defence, the Romanian authorities applied all the standard procedures from the moment of detection of the target launch until the complete clarification of this situation. In addition, at 10:38, two MiG-21 LanceR aircraft of the Romanian Air Force from the Air Police combat service under NATO command, which was at that time on an exercise flight, were redirected to the Northern area of Romania to supplement the reaction options.
After about two minutes, the situation was clarified, and the two aircraft resumed their original mission.
Is Zelensky interested in dragging NATO into a direct conflict with Russia?
But of course, he is! Why wouldn’t he be interested in getting NATO involved directly in the conflict? This would be the beginning of World War III, with tens of millions of lives lost and millions of families mourning their deaths or being shelterless. But at least he wouldn’t be alone against Russia, would he?
Zelensky is not at his first attempt to allure NATO into the conflict by using such incidents. When the Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile hit Poland territory and killed two in November 2022, Zelensky blamed Russia for that incident. When evidence showed the missile was theirs, Ukraine changed its rhetoric and said Russia would be blamed anyway, as they were the ones who started the war.
Are these strategies to be allowed in conflict? Some say you cannot possibly blame Zelensky, as he is only trying to save his country. Others blame him for adopting such behaviour for dragging other nations into the conflict.
One thing is undoubtedly changing, though. While at the beginning of the conflict, Zelensky was one of the most appreciated leaders at the international level, at the moment, people started to doubt his intentions, especially when such tactics were revealed. Zelensky is a comedy actor who was elected president and knew the power of communication the same way Putin did. From this perspective, Ukraine entered the hybrid war and used all methods to achieve its goals.
If Russian propaganda was worldwide famous and specialists warned about it many times, the time has come for us to talk about Ukraine propaganda. When you artificially blame the others for hitting NATO territory with a rocket while it was yours, and when you say the trajectory of a missile was 35 kilometres to its left just to blame Russia fired over NATO territory, this is pure war propaganda. And this is something that journalists, politicians and people should be warned about.
The problem with this tactic is that, at one point, Ukraine won’t be a credible source of information if so far it seems to be. And that moment is visible after this incident.