The Russian military says it is continuing its nationwide bombardment of Ukraine. The Defense Ministry in Moscow confirmed Friday night an offensive at the airfield near the city of Lviv (Lemberg), in western Ukraine. Ukrainian fighter planes were stationed there. In addition, a workshop was destroyed, spokesman Igor Konashenko said.
The mayor of the city near the EU’s external border, Andrij Sadowij, reported several rocket hits in the morning. “Several rockets fell on a factory that repairs planes,” he wrote on Facebook.
The airport itself was not attacked. Attacks were also launched on ammunition depots in the suburbs of the cities of Mykolaiv and Voznesensk. This could not be independently verified. According to the city of Mykolaiv, the power grid was damaged in connection with the new military attack.
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A thick cloud of smoke rose over the targeted area near the Lviv airport. Witnesses reported a violent explosion. Rescue teams are on duty, Mayor Sadowyj said Friday morning. Lviv is a place of refuge and transit for hundreds of thousands of refugees from the rest of Ukraine, and many Western diplomats also went to Lviv from the capital, kyiv.
According to the mayor, the aircraft workshop building near Lviv was destroyed by shelling. There have been no casualties so far, the operation had previously been suspended.
According to preliminary information, the area was hit by four Russian cruise missiles fired from several hundred kilometers from the Black Sea, the Ukrainian Air Force said. Ukrainian air defenses shot down two more Russian missiles before they reached their target.
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The city of Lviv (Lemberg) has so far been largely spared from the fighting. However, the Russian army on Sunday bombed a Ukrainian military base in the area near the border with Poland, bringing the war dangerously close to both NATO and the EU.
Since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s three-week offensive in Ukraine stalled due to massive Ukrainian resistance, Moscow has increasingly relied on airstrikes to gain the upper hand. The US Department of Defense estimates that Russia has fired more than 1,000 missiles at Ukrainian targets since the war began. Warning sirens sounded in cities across the country before dawn.
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The Russian army also continued its attacks on the besieged port city of Mariupol to the southeast. The armed forces, together with their separatist allies from the Moscow-recognized Donetsk “People’s Republic”, have advanced into the city center and are “fighting nationalists in the city center”, according to the Ministry of Defense spokesman. Russian defender, Igor Konashenkov.
In surrounded Mariupol, the humanitarian situation remains catastrophic. People are unable to leave the city, also because the establishment of escape corridors repeatedly fails.
Meanwhile, the number of victims after the bombing of a theater used as a shelter is still unclear. The building’s bomb shelter survived the shelling and some “adults and children” escaped with their lives, Ukrainian parliament’s human rights commissioner Lyudmila Denisova said on Friday. Work continued to access the basement. It is estimated that around a thousand people had sought shelter in the basement of the theater.
More than 2000 people apparently died in Mariupol
Ukrainian parliamentarian Sergiy Taruta said Russia’s blockade of the city is hampering rescue efforts. Some people would have managed to get out of the destroyed theater. But the others “who survived the bombing will die under the rubble of the theater or are already dead.”
According to Ukrainian sources, Russia bombed the Mariupol theater on Wednesday, despite the fact that the word “Children” was clearly written in Russian on the ground on both sides of the building. Russia has denied the attack, blaming the Ukrainian nationalist Azov Brigade, as it did last week for the attack on a maternity hospital in Mariupol.
According to authorities, more than 2,000 people have been killed in Mariupol since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24. “The bodies of many dead civilians are lying in the streets,” Tamara Kavunenko, 58, told the AFP news agency after fleeing Mariupol. “It’s not Mariupol anymore. It’s hell.” (AFP)