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Several missiles hit the city of Lviv in western Ukraine


Lviv, Ukraine (March 26) (Reuters) – Four missiles fell on the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Saturday, local officials said, in the biggest attack on the city since the start of the war with Russia.

Lviv, located just 60 km from the Polish border, has escaped heavy bombing and fighting that has devastated some of Ukraine’s cities closest to Russia since Moscow launched its invasion on February 24.

Governor Maxim Kozytsky said five people were injured after two missiles hit a fuel depot and two others were later wounded at a military factory. Earlier, powerful explosions were reported in the eastern suburbs of a series of strikes.

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After the first strike, he warned: “Stay in shelters! Don’t go out into the streets!”

The missiles landed as US President Joseph Biden, speaking in Warsaw during a visit to Poland, condemned Russian aggression and assured Ukraine of the United States’ unwavering support. Read more

“With today’s strikes, the aggressor sends greetings to President Biden who is in Poland,” Lviv Mayor Andrei Sadovy said in a televised briefing, adding that Russia had launched missiles from Sevastopol in Crimea, which it annexed in 2014.

There was no immediate comment on the Lviv attacks from the Russian authorities, who referred to the invasion as a “special military operation” aimed at disarming Ukraine.

City authorities did not reveal the exact locations of the strikes, but said they destroyed vital infrastructure, set a fuel depot on fire and smashed school building windows. The mayor stated that no residential buildings were hit.

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Reuters witnesses in central Lviv saw thick black smoke rising from the northeastern side of the city and a strong burning smell filled the air.

The men gathered together on the street to watch a plume of smoke billow behind an apartment building. Most of the residents seemed to be staying at home, peering through the curtains while others were rushing to the side of the road with their bags.

Ukraine’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, said the attacks showed that Russia wanted to intimidate Ukraine and foreign diplomats who moved their embassies to Lviv for the perceived relative safety of the capital, Kyiv.

“Ukraine should certainly not be intimidated by such crimes by the Russians, and I would like to say to my Western partners once again – close the sky, show their strength,” he said in Telegram.

This refers to Ukraine’s repeated request for a no-fly zone, which NATO has ruled out.

The pre-war population of Lviv was about 717,000, but for the thousands of families who fled the worst battles in eastern, southern and central Ukraine, it became either a place of refuge within the country or a transit center for people leaving the country. Read more

Two weeks ago, a barrage of Russian missiles hit a large Ukrainian base 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the border with Poland. Read more

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(Covering) By Natalia Zenets, Marie Saito and Silvia Aluizzi

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.