“KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A Russian missile barrage on the Ukrainian power grid sent the war spilling over into neighboring countries Tuesday, hitting NATO member Poland and cutting electricity to much of Moldova.
It was Russia’s biggest barrage yet, and some of the missiles crossed into Poland, where two people were killed, according to a U.S. official. It marked the first time in the war that Russian weapons have come down on a NATO country.
Polish government spokesman Piotr Mueller did not immediately confirm the information from a senior U.S. intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the situation. But Mueller said top leaders were holding an emergency meeting due to a “crisis situation. …”
I distinctly remember an article about exactly this scenario playing out.
Here is where things take a turn for the worst. A Russian ballistic missile’s guidance system fails and crash-lands into NATO member Poland, killing 34 civilians as it tragically lands into a populated village along the Polish-Ukraine border. While the missile was not directed at Poland intentionally, pictures on social media show children crying for their mothers and bodies left unrecognizable, and demands for justice and revenge mount.
To its credit, Poland, which has its own tortured history with the Soviet Union and Russia, does its best to show restraint. While not responding with its own military, it leads an effort to see that Moscow pays a steep price for its aggression in Ukraine and actions, even unintentional, in Poland. Warsaw leads a diplomatic and economic boycott of Moscow resulting in Russia being kicked out of SWIFT as well as direct sanctions on Russian banks, similar to what we are seeing today.
In our scenario, Russia’s reaction is also swift. Moscow decides to launch a massive cyber attack on Poland, having based cyber warriors all throughout NATO territory, using their geography and proxy servers to mask the origin of the attack. Russia, in just two hours, takes off-line Poland’s entire electrical grid, banking sector, energy plants, and more — essentially taking Poland back to the stone age.
And this is where the nightmare begins. Even though attribution is hard to achieve, Poland appeals to NATO and starts to privately share its desire to invoke Article 5 of the NATO Charter, declaring that an attack on one is an attack on the entire alliance. NATO is worried, as there is debate on how far to punish Russia while also feeling as if they do not have a clear military objective amongst the member states as some want to respond to what happened to Poland while others feel they must intervene militarily in Ukraine.
Here is where NATO surprises everyone. The alliance decides to set up a limited no-fly zone around the Ukrainian city of Lviv to protect innocent civilians and refugees that are trapped and have nowhere to go. Russia is warned: NATO is not intervening in the conflict, but will ensure that its planes and the airspace around Lviv are protected. NATO does make clear its jets will be in the skies above Ukraine, but will not operate from Ukrainian territory. …”
This was posted in The Federalist back on March 4, 2022.