New Delhi: Five “powerful” Russian missiles hit Lviv on Monday, a city in the west of Ukraine that has so far been spared much of the fighting since Russia invaded its pro-Western neighbour nearly two months ago, the city’s mayor said.
Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi said on Facebook that five missiles struck the city and that emergency services were responding to the blasts. He said more details would follow.
A Lviv resident told sources they could see thick clouds of grey smoke in the sky above some blocks of flats. The city’s mayor, Andriy Sadovy, wrote on Telegram that rescue services were at the site.
Explosions, meanwhile, have also rocked other cities as Russian forces kept up their bombardments after claiming near full control of the strategic southern port of Mariupol. In Kyiv, a series of blasts was heard near the Dnipro river. Local authorities were yet to provide any official information on their cause.
Two people were also wounded in attacks in the southern region of Dnipropetrovsk.
Earlier on Sunday, Ukraine`s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had said that eighteen people have been killed and more than 100 wounded in shelling in the past four days in the northeastern city of Kharkiv.
“This is nothing but deliberate terror: mortars, artillery against ordinary residential quarters, against ordinary civilians,” he said late on Sunday.
It is pertinent to note that after failing to overcome Ukrainian resistance in the north, the Russian military has refocused its ground offensive on Donbas, while launching long-distance strikes at targets elsewhere, including the capital, Kyiv. Capturing Mariupol, the main port in the Donbas region, would be a strategic prize for Russia, linking territory held by pro-Russian separatists in the east with the Crimea region Moscow annexed in 2014.
Russia terms its action a special military operation to demilitarise Ukraine and eradicate what it calls dangerous nationalists.