Poland’s police chief Jaroslaw Szymczyk has stated that the explosion that sent him to the hospital last week was caused by a grenade launcher he had received as a present from Ukraine.
The explosion occurred on December 14 and destroyed the building’s ceiling, injuring Jaroslaw Szymczyk and two others. Poland’s interior ministry disclosed the event last week and had not validated media claims that a grenade launcher had triggered the blast.
The odd episode has now been discussed in-depth by Szymczyk with a Polish broadcaster for the first time. Szymczyk informed Poland’s RMF FM radio station that on a visit to Ukraine, he received two used grenade launchers as a gift.
One of them was a worn, empty, safe tube that had been converted into a Bluetooth speaker. He said that Ukrainian authorities even demonstrated how this speaker works.
He told Polish media that Ukrainian officials had guaranteed the Polish delegation that the launchers were not loaded. The Polish delegation drove those launchers back to Warsaw, the Polish capital.
Szymczyk was using a diplomatic passport to cross the border, so border officials didn’t check the car’s trunk. He continued by saying that he did not disclose a gift because, in their minds, what had been given was two used, empty grenade launcher tubes rather than firearms.
Szymczyk explained that the explosion occurred when he moved the used grenade launchers that the Ukrainians had given him. He added that the detonation occurred when he moved the launchers into an upright position.
He told the RFM FM that the explosion was powerful and that the force of the shot caused damage to the ceiling and floor.
Following the event, Jaroslaw Szymczyk was publicly chastised, with commentators arguing that military weapons should not have been brought into Poland outside the European Union (EU) or placed in an office.
Military specialists also expressed doubts by stating that a charged grenade launcher is weighty, and even a layperson can tell the difference. They questioned how it was conceivable that neither the Polish police head nor Ukrainian officials could tell the difference.
Szymczyk argued in his defense that he was holding this kind of grenade launcher for the first time in his life. He is not really interested in guns, particularly those that are strictly military, and the only gun he owns is his service weapon. He could tell a minor shape difference between the two tubes, but he felt no weight difference.
The heads of the Ukrainian services gave the Polish delegation their word that these items were used, safe, not a threat, and explosive-free.
In a statement, the Ministry of Interior and Administration said, “the Polish side has asked the Ukrainian side to provide appropriate explanations. The case is dealt with from the beginning by the prosecutor’s office and relevant services.”
The Ukrainian authorities have not yet commented on the incident. The police authorities are currently investigating the incident.
The former defense minister and current deputy head of Poland’s biggest opposition party, Tomasz Siemoniak, called the incident “indefensible” on Twitter.
“Heads must roll off those responsible for this situation and endangering life. And the commander has lost his capacity to lead the police,” Tomasz Siemoniak said.
The Belarusian military is reportedly moving closer and closer to the Polish border as tensions in the ongoing war in Ukraine escalate.
Given that Poland is a member of NATO and that any action taken against Poland could activate Article 4 of the NATO military alliance, Belarus’ recent efforts to move closer to the Polish border could cause alarm among other European countries.
Express UK, citing the local Belarusian media, reported that Belarusian troops have crossed a pontoon bridge over the Neman River as part of a “combat readiness inspection.”
The European river Neman is situated in one of the most important geographical locations. The river originates in Central Belarus and runs through Lithuania before forming Kaliningrad’s (Russia’s enclave) northern border and reaching Polish borders.
It is now more likely than ever that the Russia-Ukraine conflict will escalate. This is not the first time the war’s commotion has come to the Polish doorsteps. In mid-November, a missile strike along the Polish-Ukrainian border claimed the lives of two Polish nationals.
The NATO alliance concluded that the attack was “probably an accident by Ukrainian air defenses.” Poland and Belarus have had tense relations. Both countries have been at odds over the migration problem that has engulfed their borders in recent years.
Belarus’ military operations have come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks, with a growing number of troops amassing along the Ukrainian border.
Experts believe this is the same method Russian forces used before launching a full-fledged invasion – sparking worries of an assault on northeastern Ukraine.
The head of the Brest City Executive Committee in Belarus, Alexander Rogachuk, recently warned that military drills might intensify and that soldiers would be given orders to march great distances and carry out fire and tactical operations.
That being said, it is not the first time concerns about possible Belarusian involvement in the war have grown. Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko declared over the summer that Belarus would establish a military unit and a people’s militia along its border with Kyiv.