Exploding Gift From Ukraine Injures Poland's Police Chief

Grenade launcher was thought to have been defused
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2022 4:40 PM CST
Updated Dec 18, 2022 8:01 AM CST
Gift From Ukraine Explodes, Injuring Poland's Police Chief
Gen. Jaroslaw Szymczyk was hospitalized with his injuries.   (Wikimedia Commons)
UPDATE Dec 18, 2022 8:01 AM CST

The top police official in Poland has provided details about a weird explosion that sent him to the hospital for observation. Gen. Jaroslaw Szymczyk says he received two supposedly defused grenade launchers as a gift from Ukraine—one, for example, had been turned into a loudspeaker. At least one of the devices was not as defused as thought, however. When Szymczyk was moving them on his desk, "there was an explosion," he says, per the AP. The blast was big enough to damage the floor and ceiling, but neither Szymczyk nor a civilian in the room were seriously injured.

Dec 15, 2022 4:40 PM CST

A gift from Ukrainian officials to Poland's top police official apparently went wrong Wednesday when it exploded upon opening. Gen. Jaroslaw Szymczyk was hurt in his headquarters in Warsaw, the BBC reports, by a package from a top official in Ukraine's police and state emergency services after a visit from Szymczyk a few days before. Poland's Interior Ministry did not say what the gift was, but local reports called it a grenade launcher. The chief was hospitalized for observation; a civilian employee also injured did not require hospital treatment.

Poland has referred the case to prosecutors after asking for but not receiving an explanation from Ukraine, per MSN. The two nations are allies, and Poland has been supportive since the Russian invasion of its neighbor in February, providing military and humanitarian aid and taking in Ukrainian refugees, per the AP. (More Poland stories.)

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