Russian missiles hit aircraft repair factory near Lviv airport; no casualties reported

LVIV, Ukraine – A number of Russian missiles hit an aircraft repair factory near Lviv airport early Friday morning, the closest volley on the western Ukrainian city since the invasion Russian three weeks ago.

The Ukrainian Air Force, referring to the strike and citing preliminary information, said six “cruise missiles were launched, probably Kh-555, from the Black Sea”.

Two missiles were destroyed, the statement added.

Andriy Sadovyi, mayor of Lviv, Ukraine, confirmed that Russian missiles hit buildings near the airfield, about five kilometers (3 miles) from the city, itself a hub for internally displaced people. interior of the country.

“[Russian] rockets hit the buildings of the Lviv Aircraft Repair Plant,” Sadovyi said on his personal Telegram account.

“The buildings are destroyed. The plant had previously ceased active operations, so there are no human casualties so far. First responders and rescuers are already at the scene,” Sadovyi said.

A cloud of smoke rises after an explosion in Lviv, western Ukraine, March 18, 2022. (AP Photo)

The destroyed facility is near Lviv airport, which apparently was not damaged in the attack.

Earlier, Sadovyi said the strike was “definitely not” about the airport itself.

Ukrainian authorities have asked residents to refrain from publicly sharing images of explosion sites so as not to aid Russian targeting.

Vitaliy, a Lviv resident who lives near the airport but asked that his last name not be published, said he “woke up to the sound of the explosion and vibrations in my house “.

“I heard three bombs [sic] and I saw the smoke from my window,” he said.

Ukraine’s air-warning system is notoriously inaccurate, and although air raid sirens have been sounding throughout the city since the start of the Russian invasion, Friday’s attack was the closest impact to so far on the city’s official 720,000 residents, a number estimated at 200,000 as the city has become a haven for internally displaced Ukrainians, who until this morning viewed the city as relatively l shelter from attacks.

Many townspeople, accustomed to sirens that so far were false alarms, seemed barely phased or resigned to the strike, even as a second round of sirens sounded just before 7 a.m.

Lviv is the largest city in western Ukraine and was, until recently, a popular tourist destination known for its picturesque views.

Last weekend, Russian cruise missiles devastated a military base west of Lviv, killing 35 people and injuring more than 130.

Located 70 kilometers (45 miles) from the border with EU member Poland, the town had been largely untouched since Russian forces invaded on February 24.

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