Russia strikes military base near Polish border

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Samantha Haynes

By Samantha Haynes

Published: 13/03/2022

- 09:39

Updated: 13/03/2022

- 10:40

A Russian missile attack on a large Ukrainian military facility near the border with NATO member Poland on Sunday has killed at least 35 people and wounded 134

At least 35 people were killed and 134 wounded in a Russian air strike on a large Ukrainian military training ground near the Polish border on Sunday, regional governor Maksym Kozytskyy said in a statement.

The attack took the war closer to the border with Poland after a senior Russian diplomat warned that Moscow considers foreign shipments of military equipment to Ukraine “legitimate targets”.

The governor of the Lviv region, Maksym Kozytskyi, said Russian forces fired more than 30 cruise missiles at the Yavoriv military range, 19 miles (30km) north-west of the city of Lviv and 22 miles (35km) from Ukraine’s border with Poland.

The United States and NATO have regularly sent instructors to the range, also known as the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre, to train Ukrainian military personnel. The facility has also hosted international NATO drills.

Russian fighters also fired at the airport in Ivano-Frankivsk, a city in western Ukraine located 155 miles (250km) from the border with Slovakia and Hungary. Mayor Ruslan Martsinkiv said Russia’s goal is “to sow panic and fear”.

On Saturday, Russia bombarded cities across Ukraine, pounding Mariupol in the south, shelling the outskirts of the capital, Kyiv, and thwarting the efforts of people trying to flee the violence.

In Mariupol, which has endured some of the worst punishment since Russia invaded, efforts to take food, water and medicine into the port city and to evacuate civilians were prevented by unceasing attacks.

More than 1,500 people have died in Mariupol during the siege, according to the mayor’s office, and the shelling has even interrupted efforts to bury the dead in mass graves.

Talks aimed at reaching a ceasefire again failed on Saturday, and, while the US announced plans to provide another 200 million dollars to Ukraine for weapons, a senior Russian diplomat warned that Moscow could attack foreign shipments of military equipment.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of trying to break his country apart, as well as starting “a new stage of terror” with the alleged detention of a mayor from a city west of Mariupol.

“Ukraine will stand this test. We need time and strength to break the war machine that has come to our land,” he said during his nightly address to the nation on Saturday.

Russian soldiers pillaged a humanitarian convoy that was trying to reach Mariupol and blocked another, a Ukrainian official said.

Ukraine’s military said Russian forces captured Mariupol’s eastern outskirts, tightening their siege of the strategic port. Taking Mariupol and other ports on the Azov Sea could allow Russia to establish a land corridor to Crimea, which it seized from Ukraine in 2014.

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