Russia Strikes Ukraine Military Target Near Polish Border
LVIV – Russian air strikes killed 35 people at a military base outside Ukraine’s western city of Lviv, local officials said Sunday, in an attack that brings the conflict dangerously close to the Polish border.
Another nine people were also killed in a strike on the southern city of Mykolaiv, the regional governor said, while the capital Kyiv braced for possible encirclement by Russian forces. In a video address posted on social media late Saturday night, President Volodymyr Zelensky was adamant that the Russians would not take Ukraine.
“The Russian invaders cannot conquer us. They do not have such strength. They do not have such spirit. They are holding only on violence. Only on terror,” he said.
For the first two weeks following its February 24 invasion, Russia’s forces had focused on eastern and southern areas of Ukraine, notably the strategic and heavily besieged port of Mariupol.
In recent days they moved to the centre, striking the city of Dnipro, and now the west, edging close to the frontier with EU and NATO member Poland.
Overnight, missiles struck a military training ground in Yavoriv near Lviv, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the Polish border, regional governor Maxim Kozitsky said.
He said 35 people were killed and 134 injured in the attack on the base, which was a training centre for Ukrainian forces with foreign instructors, including from the United States and Canada.
In the Black Sea city of Mykolaiv, near the strategic port of Odessa, regional governor Vitaliy Kim said nine people were killed in a Russian air strike.
The city of around 500,000 has been under attack by Russian troops for days and an AFP reporter said a cancer treatment hospital and an eye clinic there came under fire Saturday.
Meanwhile, efforts continue to get help to the strategic southern port city of Mariupol, which aid agencies say is facing a humanitarian catastrophe.
A convoy of aid headed for Mariupol was blocked at a Russian checkpoint, but hoped to arrive on Sunday, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said. Ukraine says more than 1,500 civilians have died in a near two-week siege, which has left the city without water or heat, and running out of food.
Attempts to evacuate hundreds of thousands of people have repeatedly failed.
“Mariupol is still surrounded… Since they cannot bring down the Ukrainian army, they target the population,” a French military source said.
A top Russian officer described the situation in stark language.
“Unfortunately, the humanitarian situation in Ukraine is continuing to deteriorate rapidly, and in some cities, it has reached catastrophic proportions,” said the head of the Russian National Defence Control Centre, Mikhail Mizintsev.
| President Zelensky says the Russian invaders cannot conquer us | They do not have such strength | They do not have such spirit | They are holding only on violence