(AP) — Russian forces pressed their assault on Ukrainian cities Friday, with new missile strikes and shelling on the edges of the capital Kyiv and the western city of Lviv, as world leaders pushed for an investigation of the Kremlin’s repeated attacks on civilian targets, including schools, hospitals and residential areas.
The early morning barrage of missiles on the outskirts of Lviv were the closest strike yet to the center of the city, which has become a crossroads for people fleeing from other parts of Ukraine and for others entering to deliver aid or fight.
Black smoke billowed for hours after the explosions, which hit a facility for repairing military aircraft near the city’s international airport, only six kilometers (four miles) from the center. One person was wounded, the regional governor, Maksym Kozytskyy, said.
Multiple blasts hit in quick succession around 6 a.m., shaking nearby buildings, witnesses said. The missiles were launched from the Black Sea, but the Ukrainian air force’s western command said it had shot down two of six missile in the volley. A bus repair facility was also damaged, Lviv’s mayor Andriy Sadovyi said.Lviv lies not far from the Polish border and well behind the front lines, but it and the surrounding area have not been spared Russia’s attacks. In the worst, nearly three dozen people were killed last weekend in a strike on a training facility near the city. Lviv’s population has swelled by some 200,000 as people from elsewhere in Ukraine have sought shelter there.
Early morning barrages also hit a residential building on the northern edges of Kyiv, killing at least one person, according to emergency services, who said 98 people were evacuated from the building. Two others were killed when strikes hit residential and administrative buildings in the eastern city of Kramatorsk, according to the regional governor, Pavlo Kyrylenko, and Ukraine’s State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection.
In city after city around Ukraine, hospitals, schools and buildings where people sought safety have been attacked. Rescue workers searched for survivors in the ruins of a theater that served as a shelter when it was blown apart by a Russian airstrike in the besieged southern city of Mariupol Wednesday. And in Merefa, near the northeast city of Kharkiv, at least 21 people were killed when Russian artillery destroyed a school and a community center Thursday, a local official said.
In Kharkiv, a massive fire raged through a local market after shelling Thursday. One firefighter was killed and another injured when new shelling hit as emergency workers fought the blaze, emergency services said. In the northern city of Chernihiv, dozens of bodies were brought to the morgue in just one day.