A Russian missile attack on a major Ukrainian military installation near the border with NATO member Poland on Sunday killed 35 people and injured 134, a Ukrainian official said. Ukraine said foreign military instructors had previously worked at the base, but a NATO official said there were no alliance personnel at the base. It was not immediately clear whether non-NATO states could have representatives there.
Regional Governor Maksym Kozytskyy said Russian planes fired about 30 rockets at the International Center for Peacekeeping and Security in Yavoriv, adding that some were intercepted before hitting. At least 35 people were killed and 134 injured, he said. Reuters was unable to verify his statement.
The 360 square km (140 square mile) facility less than 25 km (15 miles) from the Polish border, is one of the largest in Ukraine and the largest in the west of the country .
The Kremlin did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reported missile strike so close to the border with NATO, and a short video briefing by the Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson on Sunday did not do any mention of such an attack.
The Foreign Ministry said the Indian Embassy in Ukraine was temporarily relocated to Poland in view of the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Ukraine, including attacks in the western part of the country. The situation will be reassessed in the light of further developments.
At least nine people were killed and 57 injured in a Russian airstrike on a large Ukrainian military base near the Polish border on Sunday, local Ukrainian authorities said, in what appeared to be the most urgent attack west of war. Foreign military instructors have worked at the Yavoriv International Center for Peacekeeping and Security in the past. It was unclear if there were any at the time.
A representative of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry told Reuters the ministry was still trying to determine if any of the foreign instructors were at the facility at the time of the attack.
Ukraine on Saturday accused Russian forces of killing seven civilians in an attack on women and children trying to flee fighting near Kiev, and France said Russian President Vladimir Putin had shown that was not ready to make peace. Ukraine’s intelligence service said the seven people, including a child, were killed as they fled the village of Peremoha and “the occupiers forced the remnants of the column to turn back”.
Reuters was unable to immediately verify the report and Russia had no immediate comment. Moscow denies targeting civilians since its February 24 invasion of Ukraine and accuses Ukraine of unsuccessfully trying to evacuate civilians from encircled towns.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said earlier that Moscow was sending new troops after Ukrainian forces knocked out 31 of the Russian battalion’s battle groups in what he called the biggest Russian military casualties in decades. It was not possible to verify his statements.
He also said around 1,300 Ukrainian troops had been killed so far and urged the West to get more involved in peace talks. The president suggested that Russian forces would face a fight to the death if they sought to enter the capital.
Meanwhile, a troop of Ukrainian soldiers maintains morale by firing a constant barrage of artillery at the Russians. Their shelling has so far prevented Moscow tanks from entering Kiev from the east. And they hope that the enemy forces, which have struggled to take the big cities, will eventually get bogged down.
Dressed in a camouflage uniform and armed with a Kalashnikov, a soldier nicknamed Topaz watches the highway heading north from the eastern suburbs of Kiev.
Russian forces are advancing closer and closer to the capital from the north, west and northeast. Russian strikes also destroy an airport in the town of Vasylkiv, south of the city.
According to presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, Kiev is already “under siege” as the army and volunteers prepare to defend the city street by street.
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