LVIV: Russian air strikes hit two western regions of Ukraine bordering Nato member Poland and other areas on Tuesday, killing three people in a factory and wounding more than a dozen, Ukrainian officials said.
Local media said the attacks were the largest air assault on the Lviv region since the Russian invasion in February 2022. The fatalities were reported in the north-western region of Volyn. Officials said an industrial enterprise in the regional capital Lutsk was struck in the overnight attack. Several people were also hospitalised, Governor Yuriy Pohulyaiko said.
Swedish industrial bearings maker SKF said its factory in Lutsk was hit by a missile overnight, killing three employees. Footage released by Ukraine’s state emergency service showed rescuers pulling a man from the rubble.
Fifteen people were also wounded in the Lviv region, Governor Maksym Kozytskyi said. Six missiles damaged dozens of buildings and a kindergarten playground in and around the regional capital. Kozytskyi said the youngest victim was 10 years-old.
Both Volyn and Lviv border Poland and are hundreds of miles from the front line, where Ukraine’s military is fending off Russian troops in the nearly 18-month-old war.
National grid operator Ukrenergo said power lines in the region were also damaged but that electricity was being restored to those affected.
Lviv city had been spared much of Russia’s air attacks until July, when seven people were killed by a missile that slammed into a residential building near the historic centre.
The city has generally been seen as a safe haven from the conflict, with some government offices moving there and international NGOs using it as a base. It has also been a transit point for Ukrainian refugees en route to Poland and beyond.
“These are the parts of the country where millions of people are seeking safety and refuge after fleeing the horrors of Russia’s invasion,” Denise Brown, the United Nations resident coordinator in Ukraine, said in a statement condemning the attacks.
“Russia’s persistent attacks hitting essential infrastructure in populated areas cause immense human suffering.” At least two people were also wounded in the south-eastern city of Dnipro, where Governor Serhiy Lysak said a business enterprise and a sports complex had been hit.
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said civilian infrastructure including schools and a hospital had been damaged in a total of eight regions in Tuesday’s attacks.
Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2023