Russian missiles hit aircraft facility in western Ukraine


LVIV, Ukraine — Russian missiles hit an aircraft repair factory in western Ukraine on Friday, hitting a long-range target far from the battlefield as attacks continued on other towns.

The Ukrainian Air Force said six cruise missiles were fired from the Black Sea. Two were intercepted, preventing them from reaching the target near the airport in the western city of Lviv.

A building was destroyed, according to Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi, who said work at the facility had been suspended before the strike. One person was injured and rescuers were on hand to put out the fire, said Maksym Kozytskyi, head of Lviv’s regional military administration.

The attack near Lviv comes less than a week after a Russian airstrike on a Ukrainian military training center in a western area about 16 km from the Polish border. Lviv is about 50 miles from the border. Polish immigration authorities said on Friday that the number of people who have fled Ukraine for Poland has now exceeded two million.

Russian missiles targeted the Ukrainian region closest to the Polish border, hitting an airfield near Lviv; kyiv firefighters douse flames as shelling leaves residential areas in ruins; President Biden and Xi Jinping are expected to hold talks on Ukraine. Photo: Ismail Coskun/Associated Press

Most of the fighting between the invading Russian forces and Ukrainian troops was concentrated further east and south. In the eastern city of Kramatorsk, at least one missile hit a residential building overnight, killing two people and injuring 16, said Pavlo Kyrlyenko, head of the regional military administration of the eastern Donetsk region.

A building set on fire Thursday in Mariupol, Ukraine, which has been the target of Russian bombardment for weeks.


Photo:

ALEXANDRE YERMOCHENKO/REUTERS

The thud of artillery exchanges and small arms fire was audible in the outskirts of the capital Kyiv overnight. A Russian rocket, believed to have been shot down by Ukrainian Air Defense Forces, landed in a downtown area, injuring half a dozen people who were cut by shards of glass.

Standing near the crater next to burnt buildings, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said one person had been killed and four children were among the injured. “These are the results of this horrible situation,” he said.

In Mariupol, rescue efforts continued at the site of a destroyed theater where hundreds of Ukrainian civilians had sought refuge as Russian forces shelled the southern port city. Mr Kyrylenko said there were survivors, but declined to comment on the number or death toll.

For weeks, Mariupol has been the target of relentless shelling by Russian forces seeking to advance along Ukraine’s southern coast. Russia has long coveted Mariupol for its strategic location 35 miles west of the Russian border on the Sea of ​​Azov. The Russian Defense Ministry denied that its forces carried out an airstrike in theatre.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his forces took Russian conscripts prisoner on the battlefield. Russia has made no effort to recover its prisoners of war, he said, and some of them are refusing to return. In his evening speech, Mr. Zelensky said he would not publicly discuss his strategy on the ceasefire talks.

“To work more quietly than on TV, radio or Facebook…I think that’s fair,” he said.

Russian missiles hit aircraft facility in western Ukraine

A firefighter extinguished a burning car in kyiv on Friday as Russia’s assault on Ukraine continues.


Photo:

STATE EMERGENCY SERVICE/via REUTERS

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday, saying Ukrainian leaders were doing everything possible to delay ceasefire talks by “putting forward increasingly unrealistic proposals”, according to the Kremlin’s account of the phone call.

“Nevertheless, the Russian side is ready to continue the search for solutions in accordance with its well-known principled approaches,” the report said.

The call, which lasted just under an hour, focused on efforts to end the war in Ukraine, according to the German government. During the call, Mr. Scholz stressed the urgency of a ceasefire, an improvement in the humanitarian situation and progress in the search for a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

Mr Zelensky addressed the German parliament on Thursday, his latest in a series of appeals to Western governments for more support, as European countries consider sending more military equipment to kyiv.

In the United States, President Biden is expected to hold talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Friday in a bid to dissuade Beijing from getting more involved with Moscow in its war effort.

Russian missiles hit aircraft facility in western Ukraine

Refugees traveling to Moldova from Ukraine on Thursday.


Photo:

Robin Loznak/Zuma Press

“We believe that China in particular has a responsibility to use its influence (…) to defend the international rules and principles that it claims to support,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday.

“Instead, we fear that China is going in the opposite direction by refusing to condemn this aggression, while seeking to present itself as a neutral arbiter,” Blinken said, adding that the United States feared that Beijing plans to “help Russia directly”. with military equipment for use in Ukraine.

Australia also expanded its sanctions against Russia on Friday to include 11 additional banks and government entities, as well as billionaires Oleg Deripaska and Viktor Vekselberg. Foreign Secretary Marise Payne said the majority of Russia’s banking assets were now covered by sanctions, along with all entities that handle Russia’s sovereign debt.

Write to Isabel Coles at isabel.coles@wsj.com and Brett Forrest at brett.forrest@wsj.com

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