Russian shelling in Ukraine continued today as missiles struck the western city of Lviv, killing six and injuring eight, including a child.
Plumes of thick, black smoke were seen rising above Lviv after the blasts, with a Ukrainian adviser describing the attack as “barbaric”.
After the humiliating sinking of the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet last week in what Ukrainians claimed was a missile attack, the Kremlin had vowed to step up airstrikes.
Lviv didn’t see much fighting during the Russian invasion, although there were some airstrikes.
The town has been used as a hub for refugees fleeing to Poland – some 70 km from its border.
Various Ukrainian authorities and sources confirmed the missile strikes on social media.
Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi tweeted: “5 missile strikes targeted at Lviv. The services concerned have already left on the spot. We find more detailed information.
While the regional governor, Maksym Koyzystkiy declared: “The objects suffered significant damage. Unfortunately, there are dead and injured. At this time, 6 dead and 8 injured are known. A child was among the victims” .
A report disputed the number of people injured in the attack – saying 11 were injured.
Russia’s heavy shelling across the country in recent days marks the start of a new operation to achieve its goals, after Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed a new general, Aleksandr Dvornikov.
Presidential adviser Volodymyr Zelenskyy said: “Five powerful missile strikes on the civilian infrastructure of the former European Lviv.
“The Russians continue to barbarously attack Ukrainian cities from the air, cynically declaring to the world their ‘right’…to kill Ukrainians.”
In a disturbing claim, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his speech last night that Russia wanted to “finish off” Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region and erase certain places “from the face of the Earth”.
Donbass – made up of Lugansk and Donetsk – has seen heavy fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists since 2014.
Zelenskyy added that Ukraine is ready to end the war through diplomacy if possible, but we have no intention of surrender.
He also tweeted to mark Easter Sunday, saying, “The Lord’s resurrection is a testimony to the victory of life over death, of good over evil.”