Several rockets hit Lviv in the most significant attack on the city since the start of the war

Five people have been injured after four rockets hit the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Saturday, local officials said.

It is the most significant attack on the city since the start of the war with Russia, located 40 miles from the Polish border.

The explosions happened while US President Joe Biden was in the Polish capital, Warsaw, 210 miles away, where he was visiting Ukrainian refugees.

He came out with harsh words about Russian President Vladimir Putin and warned that Europe must steel itself in a long struggle against Russian aggression.

“With today’s blow, the aggressor sends greetings to President Biden, who is in Poland,” Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadoviy said in a televised briefing, saying Russia had fired the rockets from Sevastopol in Crimea, which it annexed in 2014.

Lviv has so far escaped the heavy bombardment and fighting that has devastated other cities closer to Russia since Moscow launched its invasion more than a month ago.

Governor Maksym Kozytskyy said five people had been injured after two rockets hit a fuel depot and two others later hit a military plant. Earlier, he reported on powerful explosions on the eastern outskirts of Lviv from the strikes.

“Stay in shelters! Do not go out on the streets,” he warned after the first strike.

A Ukrainian police officer overwhelmed with emotion after comforting people evacuated from Irpin on the outskirts of Kiev on Saturday (Photo: AP Photo / Vadim Ghirda)

City officials did not give the exact locations of the strikes, but said they damaged critical infrastructure, set fire to the fuel depot and blew the windows out of a school building. No residential properties were hit, according to the mayor.

Witnesses saw heavy black smoke rise from the northeast side of the city, and a strong odor of burnt filled the air.

Men huddled together in the street to watch a smoke flag rise behind an apartment block. Most residents seemed to stay indoors looking out from behind curtains while others hurried past on the road with their bags.

Ukrainian Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak said the attacks showed Russia wanted to scare Ukraine and the foreign diplomats who had moved their embassies to Lviv for the perceived relative security compared to the capital Kiev.

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“Ukraine should certainly not be intimidated by such crimes from the Russians, and I will once again say to my Western partners – close the sky, show strength,” he told Telegram.

This referred to Ukraine’s repeated request no-fly zonewhich NATO has ruled out.

Lviv had a pre-war population of about 717,000, but for the thousands of families fleeing the worst fighting in eastern, southern and central Ukraine, it has become either a refuge in the country or a transit hub for people leaving the country. . Country.

Two weeks ago, a barrage of Russian missiles hit a large Ukrainian base 15 miles from the border with Poland.

Additional reporting from Reuters

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