Dead in Rocket Attacks on Western City of Lviv, Mariupol No Longer Exists

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The fighting in Ukraine continues unabated. This morning, the city of Lviv in the west was hit by rocket attacks. According to Ukraine, at least 6 people were killed. However, Lviv has so far been relatively spared. “People here hold their breath,” says correspondent Bruno Beeckman from Kyiv.

 

Mariupol also continues to be the target of Russian attacks. “Russia has decided to raze Mariupol to the ground,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitri Kuleba said.

This morning, Ukrainian authorities reported rocket attacks on the city of Lviv in the west of the country. According to Mayor Andri Sadovi, it concerns “5 targeted attacks”; civilian infrastructure would also have been hit. Maksim Kozinski, the local governor, talks about 3 attacks on military targets and a civilian target, a car tire garage near the railways. He said at least 6 people were killed and 8 injured.

Lviv is about 50 kilometres from the Polish border, hundreds of kilometres from the frontline fighting in eastern Ukraine. Because the city is so close to the border with the European Union, it has become a refuge for residents from the east fleeing the violence there.

Lviv has so far been relatively spared from the war violence in Ukraine. Russian attacks have hit the city a few times on military targets in recent weeks, but they were unsuccessful. “The residents of Lviv thought until now that they were relatively safe, but that is changing. It is a clear escalation for the residents, a reminder that they are also at risk here,” says British journalist Dan Johnson at the BBC in Lviv.

After the withdrawal from the north and the country’s centre, it sounded like Russia was preparing a large-scale offensive in the east. But in recent days, Russia has carried out renewed attacks on several cities, including those not to the east. Kyiv’s capital was also hit last weekend, says correspondent Bruno Beeckman from Kyiv.

“After the sinking of the Russian warship Moskva, it was clear that Russian reprisals would follow,” Beeckman said. “We knew that this weekend in Kyiv. A large number of air raid sirens and explosions, with casualties. Here they say that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to have a trophy in his hands by May 9, commemorating the end of the Second World War. So the people keep holding their hearts for the fight.”

“If we look at Mariupol and Kharkiv, where there were heavy bombings yesterday, it is clear that for Russian troops, victory equals destruction,” Beeckman said.

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