LVIV, Ukraine, March 26 (Reuters) – The mayor of Lviv said another rocket had hit the city in western Ukraine on Saturday, not long after two rockets struck its outskirts in what appeared to be the first attacks within the city’s limits since the start of the war with Russia.
Lviv, some 60 kilometres (40 miles) from the Polish border, has so far escaped the bombardment and fighting that has devastated some Ukrainian cities closer to Russia since Moscow launched its invasion on Feb. 24.
But on Saturday Governor Maksym Kozytskyy said two rockets had struck the city’s eastern outskirts in the mid-afternoon and ordered residents to take shelter.
Later, Mayor Andriy Sadoviy said there had been another strike. “One more rocket strike on Lviv,” he said in an online post.
He did not share details of the location. He said the strike had damaged infrastructure but not residential buildings.
The first strikes set fire to an industrial facility storing fuel, but had not hit residential areas, Sadoviy said earlier.
Governor Kozytskyy said five people had been wounded in the that attack, citing preliminary figures.
“Stay in shelters! Do not go out into the streets!,” he warned.
Reuters witnesses in central Lviv saw heavy black smoke rising from the northeast side of the city and a strong smell of burning filled the air.
Men huddled together on the street to watch a plume of smoke rising behind an apartment block. Most residents appeared to stay indoors, peeking out from behind curtains as others hurried past on the road carrying their bags.
Lviv had a pre-war population of around 717,000, but for the thousands of families fleeing the worst of the fighting in eastern, southern and central Ukraine, it has become either a place of refuge within the country or a transit hub for people traveling out of the country.
(Reporting by Natalia Zinets, Mari Saito and Silvia Aloisi Writing by Alessandra PrenticeEditing by Stephen Farrell and Ros Russell)
Photo Smoke rises outside Lviv after a Russian airstrike, in Lviv, western Ukraine, 26 March 2022. Lviv Oblast governor Kozytskiy in a statement said three explosions were heard near Kryvchytsia and urged citizens to not reveal the locations on social media. On 24 February Russian troops had entered Ukrainian territory in what the Russian president declared a ‘special military operation’, resulting in fighting and destruction in the country, a huge flow of refugees, and multiple sanctions against Russia. EPA-EFE/Wojtek Jargilo