Russian rockets hit Ukraine’s Lviv in two attacks

Five people wounded after two rockets hit a fuel depot and two others later hit a military factory in the western city.

Several Russian rockets have struck the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, which has been a haven for displaced people since Russia’s invasion began on February 24.

Governor Maksym Kozytsky said two rockets struck a fuel depot in the city’s eastern outskirts in mid-afternoon on Saturday, injuring five people, and two rockets later hit a military factory.

He added that he had visited the scene of the first strikes and that the situation was “under control”, but called on residents to take shelter.

Mayor Andriy Sadoviy said another air raid had caused “significant damage” to infrastructure facilities.”

“Residential buildings were not damaged,” he wrote on Twitter without sharing details of the location.

Lviv, some 60km (37 miles) from the Polish border, had so far escaped the bombardment and fighting that devastated some Ukrainian cities closer to Russia.

The city had a prewar population of about 717,000 but has become a refuge for thousands of families fleeing the worst of the fighting in eastern, southern and central Ukraine and a transit hub for people fleeing the country.

Despite more than four weeks of fighting, Russia has so far failed to seize any major Ukrainian city. The conflict has killed thousands of people, sent nearly 3.8 million abroad and driven more than half of Ukraine’s children from their homes, according to the United Nations.

Moscow signalled on Friday it was scaling back its military ambitions to focus on territory claimed by Russian-backed separatists in the east, before striking the outskirts of Lviv on Saturday.

The strikes on Lviv took place while US President Joe Biden was visiting Poland.

Biden described Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “butcher” during his first face-to-face meeting with top Ukrainian officials since the start of the war.

The meeting, held in the Polish capital Warsaw, was Biden’s final stop on a trip to Europe aimed at underscoring his opposition to the Russian invasion, his solidarity with Ukraine and his determination to work closely with Western allies to confront the crisis.

NATO has so far ruled out a no-fly zone over Ukraine requested by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, fearing it would lead to direct clashes with Russian forces and a Europe-wide escalation.

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