Russia air strikes target western Ukraine, three killed

[1/6]Rescuers work at the site of a residential building destroyed during a Russian military strike in Lviv, Ukraine August 15, 2023. REUTERS/Roman Baluk

KYIV, Aug 15 (Reuters) – Russian air strikes hit two western regions of Ukraine bordering NATO member Poland and other areas on Tuesday, killing three people and wounding more than a dozen, Ukrainian officials said.

Local media said the attacks were the largest air assault on the Lviv region since the Russian invasion in February 2022.

The fatalities were reported in the northwestern region of Volyn. Officials said an industrial enterprise in the regional capital Lutsk was struck in the overnight attack. Several people were also hospitalised, Governor Yuriy Pohulyaiko said.

Fifteen people were also wounded in the Lviv region, Governor Maksym Kozytskyi said. Six missiles damaged dozens of buildings and a kindergarten playground in and around the regional capital. Kozytskyi said the youngest victim was 10-years-old.

Both Volyn and Lviv border NATO member Poland and are hundreds of miles from the front line, where Ukraine’s military is fending off Russian troops in the nearly 18-month-old war.

Lviv city had been spared much of Russia’s air attacks until July, when seven people were killed by a missile that slammed into a residential building near the historic center.

The city has generally been seen as a safe haven from the conflict, with some government offices moving there and international NGOs using it as a base. It has also been a transit point for Ukrainian refugees en route to Poland and beyond.

“These are the parts of the country where millions of people are seeking safety and refuge after fleeing the horrors of Russia’s invasion,” Denise Brown, the United Nations resident coordinator in Ukraine, said in a statement.

“Russia’s persistent attacks hitting essential infrastructure in populated areas cause immense human suffering.”

At least two people were also wounded in the southeastern city of Dnipro, where Governor Serhiy Lysak said a business enterprise and a sports complex had been hit.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said civilian infrastructure including schools and a hospital had been damaged in a total of eight regions in Tuesday’s attacks, which the air force said involved at least 28 cruise missiles.

Sixteen missiles were shot down, the air force said, and no other casualties were immediately reported.

“The daily terror of the Russians has a single goal: to break us, our spirit for fighting,” Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine’s presidential administration, wrote on Telegram. “This will not happen.”

Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Warsaw, Maria Tsvetkova in New York and Dan Peleschuk in Kyiv; Editing by Angus MacSwan

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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