On Thursday, the Russian armed forces launched missile attacks on residential areas in Lviv, a Ukrainian city near the Polish border, resulting in the deaths of ten civilians and injuries to 42 others, including three children.
Local officials described the nighttime attack as the most severe assault on civilian areas in Lviv since Russia initiated what it terms a “special military operation” in Ukraine last year. The strike caused damage to at least 35 buildings and 50 cars in the targeted area.
Ukraine’s Interior Minister, Igor Klymenko, reported that one of the missiles hit an apartment building, causing destruction to the third and fourth floors of two sections within a four-story complex.
“An apartment building was damaged as a result of the Russian missile attack,” Klymenko wrote on Telegram on Thursday. “The 3rd and 4th floors in two sections of the house were destroyed.”
On Friday, Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi announced that the death toll from the Russian attack on apartment buildings in the western Ukrainian city had increased to ten civilians.
“Just found the tenth body. A woman. Emergency workers are now removing the deceased from under the rubble,” Sadovyi said on Friday.
According to officials, the youngest victim was 21 years old, while the oldest was 95. Additionally, 64 people were forced to evacuate their homes in the aftermath of the attack.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pledged a “tangible” response to the “enemy.”
Despite Russian officials’ claims that their strikes are solely aimed at military targets, the Kremlin’s forces have frequently targeted civilian areas during the conflict.
Situated near Ukraine’s western border with Poland, Lviv is located over 300 miles away from the front lines of the war in eastern and southern Ukraine, where Kyiv’s counteroffensive against Russian forces is still in its early stages. The Ukrainian air force’s analysis of the missile trajectories indicates that they initially flew towards the Kyiv region before changing course to the west and ultimately heading towards Lviv. Russia frequently modifies the paths of its missiles and drones in an attempt to exploit weaknesses in Ukraine’s air defense systems.
Lviv has served as a primary transit point for millions of refugees from various parts of Ukraine who have crossed the border into Europe.
Russian strikes have targeted Ukraine’s already struggling electricity grid, resulting in widespread blackouts across the country, including in Lviv. However, the frequency of attacks on the city has been lower than those on the capital, Kyiv, making Thursday’s assault a shock to many residents of Lviv.