According to Ukrainian sources, five Russian rocket attacks hit the city of Lviv in the west of the country on Monday morning. There were “five violent rocket attacks at once on the civilian infrastructure of the old European city of Lviv,” wrote Mykhailo Podoliak, adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, on Twitter. A resident of south-west Lviv told AFP news agency that he had seen thick clouds of gray smoke rising from behind residential buildings.
“The Russians continue to barbarously attack Ukrainian cities from the air,” Podoliak wrote. Rescue workers are on their way to the scene, said the city’s mayor, Andriy Sadowy, in the messenger service Telegram. At least six people are said to have been killed and eleven injured in the attack, the Lviv governor writes, Maxym Kosyzky, on the news service Twitter.
Located far from the front lines in western Ukraine, Lviv has rarely been bombed since the Russian invasion began on February 24. On March 26, the city was hit by a series of Russian airstrikes. Among other things, a fuel depot was attacked, five people were injured according to the authorities.
refuge for refugees
In another attack a few days earlier, the city was the target of an airstrike that hit an aircraft repair factory near the airport. On March 13, Russian cruise missiles targeted a key military base about 40 kilometers northwest of Lviv, killing at least 35 people and injuring 134.
Lviv, which is close to the Polish border, has become a haven for refugees. Western embassies were also moved from Kyiv to Lviv at the beginning of the war.
Zelensky: The fate of the people depends on the supply of weapons
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is calling for an end to hesitation in supplying arms to his country. In view of an expected new offensive by Russian troops, delays are “permission for Russia to take the lives of Ukrainians,” Zelenskyj said in his daily video address on Monday night. New Russian attacks with rockets and bombs have been reported from the port city of Mariupol, which has been heavily contested for weeks.
Zelenskyy warned that the Russian military is preparing an offensive in the Donbass industrial region in eastern Ukraine in the near future: “Just as the Russian troops are destroying Mariupol, they also want to raze other cities and towns in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.” We are grateful to the partners who help. “But those who have the weapons and ammunition we need and are holding back their aid must know that the fate of this battle depends on them, too. The fate of people who can be saved,” said Zelenskyy.
He did not name any countries. However, there had recently been a dispute in the traffic light coalition in Germany about the delivery of heavy weapons. Politicians from the Greens and FDP had accused Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) of hesitation. Military experts assume that Ukraine will need significantly more heavy weapons in the east of the country to withstand attacks. This is partly due to the open terrain without large forests.
Ukraine reports more attacks on Mariupol
The Ukrainian general staff reported on Sunday evening Russian rocket and bomb attacks on the besieged Mariupol. Tu-22M3 supersonic bombers would also be used. Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal told US broadcaster ABC that the city had not fallen. The Ukrainian soldiers would “fight to the end” in Mariupol.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba reported on the US broadcaster CBS that his own troops were “basically surrounded” by Russian troops who wanted to raze Mariupol to the ground. Literally, Kuleba said, “The city no longer exists.”
Russia had previously threatened the remaining Ukrainian troops in Mariupol with annihilation. The Ukrainians ignored an ultimatum to lay down their arms and surrender by Sunday noon.
More on the Ukraine war on Tagesspiegel Plus:
Also many civilians in Azovstal Steelworks
Several thousand Ukrainian defenders of Mariupol are said to have holed up in the huge Azovstal steelworks. According to local authorities, numerous civilians are also on the contested site of the plant, which also includes underground facilities. People were hiding there from shelling during the weeks-long siege of the city by the Russian military, Mariupol patrol chief Mikhail Vershinin told local television. “They don’t trust the Russians. They see what’s going on in the city, so they stay on site.” The information has not been independently verified.
Large parts of Mariupol are now under the control of the Russian military. Around 100,000 residents stayed in Mariupol, Vershinin said. Russian troops had them clear rubble for food, and had bodies removed and buried in mass graves, he claimed. Before the war, Mariupol had around 400,000 inhabitants. Thousands of civilian deaths are feared after the long siege and constant shelling.
In view of the feared large-scale attack in the east of the country, Selenskyj announced tough resistance. “We will not give up our territory,” he told CNN. The battle in the Donbass region could affect the course of the entire war.
Ukrainian troops recapture places near Kharkiv
According to the authorities, the Ukrainian troops were able to recapture several towns near the city of Kharkiv in the north-east during a counter-offensive. As a result, the Russian troops were further pushed back from the second largest city in Ukraine, the governor of the region, Oleh Synyehubov, said in his channel on the messaging service Telegram. Authorities had previously reported that at least 5 people were killed and 13 injured in shelling in the city center on Sunday.