Ukraine said seven people were killed by a Russian missile attack in Lviv on Monday, the first civilian casualties in the western city, and that Russia had begun its long-anticipated new offensive in the east.
According to preliminary reports, there were four strikes, three on warehouses that were not in use by the military and one on a car service shop, according to Maksym Kozytskyy, the governor of Lviv, which is 60 kilometres (40 miles) from the Polish border.
“It was a cruel hit against a service station, which is a fully civilian facility,” he said at a press conference.
The mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadoviy, stated the youngest victim among the fatalities was 30 years old. The blast also injured 11 people and destroyed the windows of a hotel that was hosting Ukrainians who had been evacuated from other parts of the nation, he said.
“Seven peaceful people had plans for their lives, but their lives came to an end today,” the mayor remarked.
Moscow has refocused its combat offensive in the eastern provinces known as the Donbas, while launching long-range strikes at other targets, including the capital, Kyiv, after being pushed back by Ukrainian resistance in the north.
Russia, according to Ukraine’s armed forces command, has begun a fresh push for control of the east, increasing the intensity of attacks.
“This morning, the occupiers attempted to break through our defences along practically the whole front line of Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kharkiv regions,” Security Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov stated in televised remarks.
“This morning, they attempted to initiate the active phase,” he stated.
Authorities are continuing to evacuate civilians from two regions where combat is expected, according to Kharkiv’s regional governor.
According to a post on the Telegram messaging service by the prosecutor’s office, a man and a woman were murdered in Kharkiv on Monday after shells hit a playground near a residential building.
Russia disputes that civilians were targeted as part of a “special operation” to demilitarise Ukraine and eliminate “dangerous nationalists.” It dismisses what Ukraine claims are evidence of crimes, claiming that they were contrived to derail peace talks.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is accused of unjustified aggression by Western capitals and Kyiv.
A senior US defence source said on Monday that the US military plans to begin training Ukrainians on how to use howitzer artillery in the coming days.
Last week, US President Joe Biden offered an additional $800 million in military supplies to Ukraine, including heavy artillery, in anticipation of a larger Russian invasion in eastern Ukraine.
The howitzer training would take done outside of Ukraine, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Following the discovery of mass deaths in Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Monday that his talks with Putin had come to a halt.
Hundreds of military targets in Ukraine were hit overnight, according to Russia’s defence ministry. It claimed that air-launched missiles had damaged 16 military facilities in the south and east Ukrainian districts of Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, and Dnipropetrovsk, as well as the port of Mykolayiv.
The Russian air force attacked 108 places where Ukrainian soldiers were concentrated, and Russian artillery blasted 315 Ukrainian military targets, according to the report.
Russia is attempting to retake full control of Mariupol, a southeastern port city that has been besieged for weeks and would be a big strategic gain, connecting territory held by pro-Russian separatists in the east with the Crimea peninsula that Moscow invaded in 2014.
In a letter to Pope Francis, Major Serhiy Volyna, commander of Ukraine’s 36th marine brigade, which is still fighting in Mariupol, said women and children were trapped amid soldiers in the city’s steel industry.
“On Earth, this is what hell looks like… It’s past time for assistance, not just prayers. Save our lives from the clutches of the devil, “According to parts posted by Ukraine’s ambassador to the Vatican, the letter stated.
The local council announced on Monday that around 1,000 citizens were hiding in underground shelters beneath the massive Azovstal steel mill.
Explosions rumbled as smoke billowed from the steelworks, which are home to a slew of structures, blast furnaces, and rail tracks.
According to a Ukrainian official, Russia’s invasion has damaged or destroyed up to 30% of Ukraine’s infrastructure at a cost of $100 billion, and restoration could be completed in two years with the help of frozen Russian assets.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights announced on Monday that the number of civilians killed in Ukraine’s conflict had topped 2,000, with 2,072 killed as of midnight on April 17 since the Russian invasion began on February 24.
Approximately 4 million Ukrainians have abandoned their homeland.