Monday, May 20, 2024

At Least 7 Killed By Russian Missile Strikes On Lviv Near Polish Border

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At least seven people were killed in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Monday after it was struck by a Russian missile barrage early in the morning a strike that comes ahead of a renewed assault on the country’s eastern half by the invading Russian forces.

Smoke is seen on the horizon after Russian missiles struck the area in Lviv, Ukraine.

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Key Facts

According to Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi, an additional eleven people, including a child, were injured in the early morning Russian attack.

The head of Lviv’s military administration warned that several people remained trapped under the rubble and the death toll could rise further.

Shockwaves from the strikes reportedly shattered the windows of a nearby hotel that was being used by Ukrainians who have been evacuated from other regions of the country, Sadovyi added.

The region’s governor Maksym Kozytskyy said the city was struck by at least four Russian missiles, three of which hit empty military warehouses while a fourth one hit a civilian garage.

Russia’s TASS news agency reported Russian forces struck 315 Ukrainian targets—including arms depots and military facilities—overnight, citing the Russian defense ministry.

Earlier on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed that Ukrainian troops will “fight absolutely to the end” in the besieged port city of Mariupol, effectively dismissing Russia’s calls for surrender.

Key Background
Lviv, which is located a few dozen kilometers from the Polish border, has served as a refuge for people fleeing fighting in the eastern half of the country and an important transit point for Western supplies entering Ukraine. Last month, a military base on the outskirts of the city was struck by Russian missiles, resulting in multiple casualties. Another strike targeted the city later in the month, when President Joe Biden was on a visit to neighboring Poland. Despite this, Lviv has managed to avoid the brunt of Russia’s attacks as it has largely remained out of reach, except for long-range Russian ballistic missiles and air-launched weapons. Moscow has also previously warned that it will strike convoys carrying Western military aid and supplies into Ukraine, a threat it has failed to carry out so far.

As regrouped Russian forces prepare to launch an offensive across eastern Ukraine, all eyes are on the besieged port city of Mariupol. Despite being under siege for a month—with supplies of food, water and ammunition being cut off—Ukrainian soldiers in the city have resisted, preventing the fall of the key strategic city to the Russians. Most remaining Ukrainian soldiers and paramilitary fighters remain holed up in the massive Azovstal steel plant and its complex of multiple underground tunnels. Despite this, the Institute for the Study of War on Sunday said that it expects the city to fall to Russian forces “in the coming week.”

Further Reading
Ukrainian governor: Russian strikes kill at least 6 in Lviv (Associated Press)

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