Russian strikes hit Ukrainian capital and outskirts of Lviv
By CARA ANNA
LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces pressed their assault on Ukrainian cities Friday, with new missile strikes and shelling on the capital Kyiv and the outskirts of 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 was 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.
Early morning barrages also hit a residential building in the Podil neighborhood of Kyiv, killing at least one person, according to emergency services, who said 98 people were evacuated from the building. Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said 19 were wounded in the shelling.
Two others were killed when strikes hit residential and administrative buildings in the eastern city of Kramatorsk, according to the regional governor, Pavlo Kyrylenko.
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.
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.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday that American officials were evaluating potential war crimes and that if the intentional targeting of civilians by Russia is confirmed, there will be “massive consequences.”
The United Nations political chief, Undersecretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo, also called for an investigation into civilian casualties, reminding the U.N. Security Council that international humanitarian law bans direct attacks on civilians.
She said many of the daily attacks battering Ukrainian cities “are reportedly indiscriminate” and involve the use of “explosive weapons with a wide impact area.” DiCarlo said the devastation in Mariupol and Kharkiv ”raises grave fears about the fate of millions of residents of Kyiv and other cities facing intensifying attacks.”
About 35,000 civilians left Mariupol over the previous two days, Kirilenko said Friday.
Associated Press writer Yuras Karmanau in Lviv, Ukraine, and other AP journalists around the world contributed to this report.
Follow the AP’s coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine