Russia hits one of the safest areas in Ukraine so far and the main passage for those fleeing the war. The Russian Army has launched several missiles on the airport in the city of Lviv, 70 kilometers from NATO – a member country of NATO and the EU -, although without causing fatalities, authorities reported this Friday morning. local. It is the first shelling of the main city in western Ukraine since the war began 23 days ago and the first non-military target. The Lviv region itself had been the target of Russian missiles in recent days. Last Sunday, at least 35 people were killed in the attack on a military base in Yavoriv, about 40 kilometers from Lviv, and on Friday last week another six people were killed in the bombing of an air base in Lutsk, 87 kilometers from Poland.
The incident leaves one person injured at the moment, reported the head of the Lviv regional military administration, Maksym Kozytsky. According to his account, the Russians have launched several missiles from the Black Sea and the Ukrainian Army has managed to intercept several, but not the four that have managed to reach their objective, the facilities where the planes are repaired. Part of that plant, whose activity had previously been interrupted, has been “destroyed”, in the words of the city’s mayor, Andriy Sadovy.
Lviv is the main transit point through which some three million people have fled the war as refugees to other countries. “This attack confirms that [los rusos] They are not at war with the Ukrainian Army, they are at war with the people, the women, the children, the refugees. There is nothing sacred for them”, Maksym Kozytsky has denounced, who has considered it “a blow” to a “humanitarian refuge”.
It was barely dawn when several explosions rumbled through Lviv, population 700,000. Meanwhile, alarms sounded warning the population of the danger of an air attack and asking them to take cover or move to shelters. Soon a column of black smoke rose over the airport area, a particularly sensitive area for communications and about which the authorities had already shown their concern. Several neighbors who live in the surroundings confirmed that they heard three detonations around six in the morning.
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“There have been explosions in the airport area, near the aircraft repair factory and we have been very scared,” says Irina at the door of her house, near the place of the attack, in the presence of her son. “She was not asleep. I was very scared because it was a very strong explosion. The neighbors have had their windows blown out and we were all lying on the ground”.
Some onlookers crowded the stop and the train loading terminal near the airport, in an area taken over by the military who prevented it from getting any closer and through which ambulances and fire trucks were circulating. The windowpanes of the station were shattered by the blast wave. From a bridge, the runway of the aerodrome was observed, which apparently suffered no damage. Several emergency vehicles were inside the facilities, while police and military vehicles guarded the outside.
In the midst of a climate of constant insecurity, suspicion and paranoia in the face of possible infiltrated enemy agents, the special envoy for EL PAÍS and another Spanish reporter were held Thursday afternoon for an hour in a commercial area of Lviv near the facilities attacked this Friday. Several agents inspected and photographed passports, press credentials issued by the Ukrainian government and were even reviewing contacts, conversations and photographs on mobile phones. “We are at war and you must understand that you are near the airport,” justified one of them.
The war has been installed for days in this western region of Ukraine, located at the gates of Europe and NATO territory and that at the beginning of the conflict was seen as a security cushion. Both its inhabitants and newcomers fleeing cities in the line of fire in search of a quieter area now see how the threat has spread after the attacks in recent days.
New attacks in Kharkiv
The emergency services of Kharkov, the second Ukrainian town by population with 1.5 million inhabitants, have confirmed this Friday the death of one person and that another 11 have been injured in the bombing of a building in the city, with a majority of speak Russian. Vladimir Putin’s troops have been stalking Kharkov for weeks, a priority objective in Moscow’s target, which seeks to capture the city to take control of eastern Ukraine and facilitate a pincer to the Donbas region, where the pro-Russian republics of Donetsk are located and Luhansk.
In the Ukrainian capital, kyiv, a Russian missile has hit a block of flats in the north of the city and has caused one fatality and four people injured. The Ukrainian Emergency Service has reported that 12 people have been rescued and another 98 have been evacuated from this five-story building.
In the new night bombardments carried out by the Russian Army in the towns of Severodonetsk and Rubizhne, in the Lugansk region, in the eastern part of Ukraine, at least two people have died and six have been injured. The attacks have affected more than twenty buildings in these towns and have destroyed important infrastructure, according to the head of the Lugansk regional administration, the Interfax-Ukraine agency reported.