LVIV, Ukraine — Two rocket attacks hit targets on Saturday night in Lviv, a city in western Ukraine about 80 kilometers from the Polish border.
The city’s mayor said Russian missiles launched from Sevastopol hit an oil and gas terminal attached to the train station and what officials described as a factory producing important military supplies. No one was killed, but five people were injured.
“I think with these attacks the aggressor wants to say hello to President Biden who is in Poland, 70 kilometers (43 miles) from Lviv,” Mayor Andriy Sadoviy said at a news conference when an air raid siren sounded above him. “The threat is very serious.”
The attack came as President Biden was in Warsaw to conclude a visit to Europe intended to bolster unity over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Mr Biden said the United States viewed its duty to defend NATO allies as “a sacred duty”.
It also came the day after Russian officials said they would focus their efforts on eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting for eight years.
“The strikes are very clearly targeting infrastructure,” said Mr. Sadoviy. “The destruction is serious,” he added, noting that a kindergarten was damaged.
Maksym Kozytsky, chairman of Lviv’s regional board, said in a Telegram message that several hours later, around 7 p.m. local time, three more explosions detonated. She called on residents to stay at home and seek shelter. Given the location of the second attack, local residents said they believed a tank factory was the target.
On March 18, missiles hit a factory near the city that repairs fighter jets near the city’s airport on March 18, but Lviv, home to 700,000 people before many of them fled the war, has been spared further damage. the air strikes and rocket attacks that have crushed other Ukrainian cities. About 400,000 displaced Ukrainians are now in the Lviv region, Kozytsky said on Thursday.
Photos of the projectiles in flight, taken by news photographers, appeared to show cruise missiles with their telltale wings.
“The sooner we receive high-quality weapons and air defense systems, the safer we will be,” Mr Sadoviy said, urging Western countries to donate more weapons.
Some residents said the strikes had raised fears about what had previously been a relatively quiet place to live. “They’ve started here now, I don’t know how well we can continue to manage our business,” said Andriy, 39, who owns a construction company but declined to share his last name due to concerns for his safety.
“It looks like the situation in the city is going to change from now on, that everything will be locked down soon.”
SOURCE – www.nytimes.com