Ukrainian War: Explosions on outskirts of western city of Lviv after ‘rockets fired from Crimea’ | world news

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Several “powerful” explosions hit the outskirts of the city of Lviv in western Ukraine.

Lviv Governor Maksym Kozytskyy said there were two missile strikes around 2.45pm UK time. Shortly before 5 p.m., the governor said there had been three more explosions.

It is understood an oil depot was hit in the first attack. Five people were injured in the initial strikes, Kozytskyy said.

He and the city’s mayor, Andriy Sadovyi, urged people to stay at home. “Stay in the shelters! Mr. Kozytskyy said. “Don’t walk down the street! Don’t take a picture! Don’t read news on anonymous Telegram channels and don’t spread it from there!”

Footage of the first strikes showed plumes of thick black smoke in the sky near the town. Sky News correspondent Sally Lockwood, who is at the scene, heard air raid sirens and said there were reports of jets flying overhead.

Flashes and loud bangs could be heard from the site in the hours following the attack, she said, describing it as an “active situation”. Subsequent explosions are believed to have hit a defense installation.

A “huge” fire that broke out near houses and two petrol stations is feared to spread due to high winds, and police and soldiers kept people away from the area.

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“There are a number of buildings near the fire and there are a lot of people watching the fire,” Lockwood said. A lot of people are emotional, some are quite angry – there are definitely some strong emotions.”

Mr Sadovyi said the strikes were rockets that were fired from Sevastopol in Crimea.

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At least two explosions hit the outskirts of Lviv

The attack happened as US President Joe Biden was across the border in Warsaw, Poland.

“There are comments here to suggest it’s no coincidence…that this is a message to President Biden,” Lockwood said.

Defense and security analyst Michael Clarke told Sky News: “The Russians are using the missiles to probe supply routes, depots and anything coming from Poland, so whenever they think they see something around Lviv, I think they go there.”

Lviv, a city of more than 700,000 people about 45 miles east of the Ukraine-Poland border, has been largely spared major attacks in recent weeks.

Russia says ‘Black Sea’ footage shows missile launch targeting area west of kyiv

Earlier, Russia claimed to have launched missile strikes on Ukrainian military infrastructure from the Black Sea in the northwest town of Zhytomyr, about 96 miles from the capital kyiv.

The crew of a small Black Sea Fleet missile ship launched four Kalibr cruise missiles at military facilities belonging to the Ukrainian Armed Forces from the Black Sea, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

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Missiles fired from a small ship

“As a result of a precise hit, high-precision weaponry destroyed a depot of weapons and military equipment on the territory of the Zhytomyr region,” he said, in a Facebook post containing images of the explosions.

Russia seems to be lowering its ambitions in Ukraine to focus on consolidating control of eastern areas, but the UK warned that the bombing of cities was likely to continue.

Another video released on Saturday by the Ministry of Defense allegedly showed an airstrike on a Ukrainian Buk missile system carried out by an Iskander missile in the kyiv region – causing a huge explosion.

Russia has previously stressed far greater ambitions, but fierce resistance from Ukrainian forces, logistical problems and reported low morale may have taken their toll as its forces were unable to seize a major Ukrainian city more than four weeks after the start of the conflict.

Map of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia
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Map of the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Workers’ town of Chernobyl ‘seized’ by Russian forces

Vladimir Putin’s forces have taken control of the town of Slavutych, where workers at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant live, Kyiv Region Governor Oleksandr Pavlyuk said on Saturday.

Mr Pavlyuk wrote in an online post that Russian troops had occupied Slavutych hospital and abducted the mayor. Reports still need to be verified.

Demonstration of Slavutitch
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A demonstration broke out in Slavutych

However, Sky News has verified a video located in Slavutych showing protesters gathered outside Slavutych Town Hall as gunshots could be heard.

Yesterday Ukraine said its troops repelled the first attack by Russian troops approaching the city.

Chernihiv “surrounded by the enemy”

The northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv has been cut off by Russian forces, its regional governor said on Friday.

“The city was conditionally, operationally surrounded by the enemy,” Viacheslav Chaus said, adding that it was being shelled by artillery and warplanes.

Burning houses in a residential area in northeast Chernihiv Photo: Satellite Image ©2022 Maxar Technologies
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Burning of houses in a residential area in the northeast of Chernihiv. Photo: Satellite Image ©2022 Maxar Technologies

Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said earlier that Ukraine wanted to open a humanitarian corridor in Chernihiv on Saturday.

Read more: An unlikely beacon as families flee Ukraine’s most devastated city

In the eastern city of Kharkiv, four people were killed on Friday when Russian shelling hit a clinic providing humanitarian aid, regional police said.

There is also growing evidence of mass graves in Mariupol – including one that appears to contain 200 bodies – the head of the UN human rights team in Ukraine has said.

The advance of the Russians on Mariupol
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The Russian advance on Mariupol

Ten humanitarian corridors confirmed for today

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk announced on Saturday that 10 human corridors had been confirmed for the day across the country.

It comes as Ukraine’s attorney general’s office announced that at least 136 children have died since the Russian invasion a month ago.

Speaking on national television, she said civilians trying to flee the beleaguered port city of Mariupol should
leaving in private cars because the Russian forces would not let the buses pass their checkpoints.

People queue during the distribution of humanitarian aid near a damaged store of wholesaler Metro during the Ukraine-Russia conflict in the besieged port city of Mariupol, Ukraine March 24, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermoshenko
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People queue as they wait to leave the southern port city of Mariupol

Ms Vereshchuk added that more than 100,000 people needed to be evacuated from the city.

On Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky again called on Russia to negotiate an end to the war, but said his country would not agree to cede any of its territories in the name of peace.

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Vladimir Putin’s forces are under heavy pressure in many parts of the country as the United States and other countries have accelerated their transfer of arms and supplies to Ukraine.

However, the UK Ministry of Defense released a map of the areas of Ukraine under Russian assault on Saturday – showing Putin’s forces are showing few signs of letting up.

It shows that kyiv continues to be surrounded and predicts advances in other cities in the north and south of the country by Russian troops.

The United States also said Russian forces no longer had full control of Kherson, the first city to fall after the invasion began.

It’s another apparent boost for Ukraine, which also claimed to have destroyed a Russian landing ship near the coastal town of Berdyansk this week.

The remains of a tank in Mariupol.  Photo: Maximilian Clarke
Picture:
The remains of a tank in Mariupol. Photo: Maximilian Clarke

“300 dead in the attack on a theater”

Despite counterattacks, the death toll is mounting – and the council of the southern city of Mariupol said on Friday it believed around 300 people had died in the bombing of a theater last week.

That would make it the worst loss of life in the month-long war.

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Inside the bombed-out Mariupol Theater

“Children” was written in large letters outside the theater – intended to be viewed from above – in the hope of protecting the approximately 1,300 people sheltering inside even if despite this the building was still under attack.

The governor of Donetsk said Ukrainian forces still controlled Mariupol, despite having been under relentless attack for weeks.

Pavlo Kyrylenko said around 65,000 people had fled in private vehicles or on foot, but attempts to facilitate mass evacuations had mostly failed.

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