November 15, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Tara Subramaniam, Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Mike Hayes, Jack Guy and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 7:07 a.m. ET, November 16, 2022
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6:54 p.m. ET, November 15, 2022

NATO secretary general will chair emergency alliance meeting on Wednesday

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks at a press conference on November 10, in Rome, Italy.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks at a press conference on November 10, in Rome, Italy. (Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will chair an emergency meeting of alliance ambassadors Wednesday morning in Brussels to discuss “this tragic incident,” NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu told CNN Tuesday. 

More background: World leaders are in the process of arranging meetings to discuss a fatal explosion that happened in eastern Poland, near the border of Ukraine. Polish media said projectiles struck a farm in the NATO member’s territory near the border with Ukraine roughly the same time as Russia launched its biggest wave of missile attacks on Ukrainian cities in more than a month.

6:03 p.m. ET, November 15, 2022

US Secretary of State Blinken spoke with Poland's foreign minister following border incident

From CNN's Jennifer Hansler

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with his Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rau Tuesday in the wake of a reported explosion in Poland, Łukasz Jasina, the spokesperson for the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and US State Department officials confirmed.

What we know so far: Poland convened an emergency meeting of national security officials on Tuesday, after Polish media reported projectiles killed two people near the border with Ukraine on Tuesday. 

It remains unclear where the projectiles came from, but they landed in the NATO member’s territory roughly the same time as Russia launched its biggest wave of missile attacks on Ukrainian cities in more than a month.

8:39 p.m. ET, November 15, 2022

Large smoke cloud and crater seen in video and photos from Polish town near Ukrainian border

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy and Gianluca Mezzofiore

A crater is seen near the small village of Przewodów, Poland where Polish officials confirmed that two people were killed after an explosion.
A crater is seen near the small village of Przewodów, Poland where Polish officials confirmed that two people were killed after an explosion. (From Facebook)

New videos and photos show a large smoke plume and a crater in the small village of Przewodów, Poland, where Polish officials confirmed that two people were killed after an explosion. 

Przewodów is a small village just 4 miles (more than 6 kilometers) from the Ukrainian border. The cause of the explosion has yet to be verified, but it came at around the same time Russian conducted a number of missile strikes in Ukraine. 

Video taken by a resident shows a large smoke plume in the center of the village. CNN geolocated and confirmed the authenticity of the video.

Two additional photos show a large crater and an overturned tractor and flatbed trailer. The images are being broadcast on Polish media outlets, and in one of the images, a Polish state firefighter is seen. CNN cannot independently confirm the photos.

6:09 p.m. ET, November 15, 2022

Ukrainian president: 10 million people without electricity after wave of Russian missile attacks 

From CNN's Tim Lister

People go by the dark street during a blackout after a massive Russian missile attack on Ukrainian power infrastructure in Lviv, Ukraine, on November 15.
People go by the dark street during a blackout after a massive Russian missile attack on Ukrainian power infrastructure in Lviv, Ukraine, on November 15. (Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto/Getty Images)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said about 10 million Ukrainians are without electricity Tuesday night after waves of Russian missile attacks earlier in the day.

In his daily video address, Zelensky said,

"In many cities and regions of our country, there are again emergency power cuts. About ten million Ukrainians are without electricity. Most of all — as of this moment — in Kharkiv, Zhytomyr, Kyiv and Lviv regions."

Zelensky added that Lviv and some other cities suspended the supply of heating and that there also were issues with the internet and other modes of communication.

Across much of Ukraine, temperatures are marginally above freezing. 

"As a result of the strikes, the automation today shut down several nuclear units at two stations — these are calculated consequences, and the enemy knew exactly what he was doing," Zelensky said.

Some background: Russia fired "around 100 missiles" at cities across Ukraine on Tuesday, according to Yurii Ihnat, spokesperson for the Ukrainian Air Force command.

At least a dozen cities and districts were targeted, according to a CNN analysis of the missile strikes. The wave of strikes appears to be the largest since Oct. 10, when Russia stepped up its campaign to destroy electricity, water and gas infrastructure across Ukraine. 

Herman Halushchenko, Ukrainian Energy Minister, confirmed that most of the targets Tuesday were energy facilities.

5:54 p.m. ET, November 15, 2022

Poland considers invoking Article 4 of NATO Treaty to consult member states after explosion

From CNN's Tim Lister

Poland is considering asking its NATO partners for discussions under Article 4 of the NATO Treaty after a missile was reported to have landed on its territory Tuesday, killing two people.

The government has so far only confirmed that there was an explosion.

"It will be verified whether there are grounds to launch the procedures under Article 4 of the North Atlantic Pact," a government spokesperson said.

Article 4 allows for any member to seek consultations with the rest of the alliance and states.

"The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.”
6:03 p.m. ET, November 15, 2022

Poland says 2 people killed in explosion near border with Ukraine. Here's what we know

Polish officials on Tuesday said that two people died following an explosion in the Hrubieszów district in eastern Poland.

“There was an explosion in eastern Poland,” said government spokesman Piotr Muller said in Warsaw. He said experts were gathering details on what he called a “serious” situation.

Poland is considering asking its NATO partners for discussions under Article 4 of the NATO Treaty.

Article 4 allows for any member to seek consultations with the rest of the Alliance, and states: “The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.”

Kyiv's response: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said it was Russian missiles that hit Poland. However, Russia's defense ministry said no strikes were made "on targets near the Ukrainian-Polish state border.”

CNN at the scene: CNN’s Matthew Chance is in the small town of Przewodów, close to where a fatal explosion occurred near the Polish-Ukraine border. Chance said police have sealed off the road and journalists are not being permitted to go to the site. A local resident told CNN they heard a terrifying “whoosh” as a projectile flew over the town. Chance spoke to a caretaker of a local school who said the force of the explosion shook classroom windows approximately 200 meters from the school gates. Students were not inside the school when the explosion occurred. 

Large smoke plume visible: New videos and photos show a large smoke plume and a crater in Przewodów, which is just 4 miles from the Ukrainian border. Video taken by a resident shows a large smoke plume in the center of the village. CNN geolocated and confirmed the authenticity of the video.

Here's how world leaders are reacting: US President Joe Biden spoke by phone with President Andrzej Duda of Poland from Bali, Indonesia, where he was attending the Group of 20 Summit, the White House said. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said that it is "important that all facts are established," after speaking with Duda about the explosion. Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron and EU Council President Charles Michel proposed a meeting with fellow EU leaders attending the G20 summit.

7:45 p.m. ET, November 15, 2022

Biden holds call with Poland's president

From CNN's Betsy Klein

US President Joe Biden, right, spoke with Polish President Andrzej Duda on the phone from his hotel in Bali. He was joined by Secretary of State Blinken, left, and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, center.
US President Joe Biden, right, spoke with Polish President Andrzej Duda on the phone from his hotel in Bali. He was joined by Secretary of State Blinken, left, and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, center. (The White House/Handout)

US President Joe Biden spoke by phone with President Andrzej Duda of Poland from Bali, Indonesia, the White House said. 

Biden is in Bali attending the Group of 20 Summit.

The US president “expressed deep condolences for the loss of life in Eastern Poland earlier this evening,” according to a readout from the White House.

Biden “reaffirmed the United States’ ironclad commitment to NATO” and the leaders agreed to have their teams “remain in close touch to determine appropriate next steps as the investigation proceeds," the readout said.

Vice President Kamala Harris has been briefed on reports out of Poland and is following closely, according to a senior administration official.

Polish officials Tuesday said that two people died following an explosion in the Hrubieszów district in eastern Poland.

A government spokesperson said experts were investigating what happened and would work to gather details of what he called a “serious” situation.

4:50 p.m. ET, November 15, 2022

French president calls for talks at G20 summit amid reports of rockets or missiles landing in Poland  

From CNN’s Saskya Vandoorne, Pierre Bairin and Valentina Di Donato

French President Emmanuel Macron has called for talks at the G20 summit following reports of rockets or missiles landing in Poland, according to an Elysee Palace spokesperson on Tuesday. 

“The president has contacted the Polish leadership and is being kept informed of the evolving situation”, the spokesperson said.  

A French defense source told CNN that France was being “extremely cautious” and that officials would not comment until they were able to “analyse all the available information”. 

“We are in close contact with the Polish authorities,” the defense source said. 

Meanwhile, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said in a Tuesday tweet that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, also called the Farnesina, is closely following the developments in Poland and is in close contact with NATO allies. 

"The Farnesina is following the developments in Poland with the utmost attention, in constant contact with Defense, European countries, and NATO allies," Tajani said. "My condolences to the families of the victims. I am close to the Polish people."

4:41 p.m. ET, November 15, 2022

US national security adviser has spoken with Polish counterpart, NSC says

From CNN's Betsy Klein

United States National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan spoke with his Polish counterpart amid news that rockets or missiles have hit NATO member Poland, National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement. 

"We've seen the reports out of Poland and are working with the Polish government to gather more information. Shortly after receiving these reports, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke with Chief of the National Security Bureau of Poland Jacek Siewiera,” Watson said in a statement. 

President Joe Biden and members of his national security team are in Bali for the G20 summit.

“We cannot confirm the reports or any of the details at this time. We will determine what happened and what the appropriate next steps would be,” the statement added.