At least four people have been killed and more than 30 injured in a Russian missile attack on a residential apartment block in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, one of the largest attacks on the city’s civilian infrastructure since the start of Russia’s invasion last year, officials said.
Ukraine’s Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko reported on Thursday that at least four people were killed in the attack which destroyed the third and fourth floors of an apartment building. Rescuers were working to reach those still trapped under rubble, he said.
Keep readinglist of 4 items
Ukraine’s Interior Ministry later updated the number of injured to 32, including one child. The emergency services said they had managed to rescue seven people from the destroyed building and evacuated 64 others.
“This is the biggest attack on Lviv’s civilian infrastructure since the beginning” of Russia’s invasion, Lviv’s Mayor Andriy Sadovyi said on his Telegram channel, adding that rescuers were working to “clear debris and pull out all the dead” from the building.
Russia attacked Lviv with 10 Kalibr missiles launched from the Black Sea, Ukraine’s air force said, adding that seven of the 10 missiles were shot down.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy took to social media early on Thursday to condemn the attack, and to offer his condolences to the relatives of those killed in Lviv as well as promise a “strong” response “to the enemy”.
Zelenskyy’s post on Twitter featured a video which showed the extent of damage to a building in Lviv.
Lviv. Consequences of the night attack by Russian terrorists. Unfortunately, there are wounded and dead. My condolences to the relatives!
There will definitely be a response to the enemy. A strong one. pic.twitter.com/9yl1MT6Eu4
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) July 6, 2023
Lviv’s regional Governor Maksym Kozytskyi also posted a 13-second video clip showing a wide, curving, four-storey apartment building with parts of the upper floors missing or in rubble.
Kozytskyi said earlier that a critical infrastructure facility had been damaged, without providing further details.
The reports of damage and civilian deaths in Lviv followed air raid alerts across Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday morning and reports of cruise missiles entering Ukrainian airspace.
Sadovyi, the city’s mayor, had reported a series of explosions in his city.
“Friends, we will not talk about the consequences of shelling now,” he said on his Telegram channel earlier. “All the city services are doing their work,” he said.
Russia has launched waves of drone and missile attacks across Ukraine since its invasion in February 2022, though the Lviv region – which is located hundreds of kilometres from the front lines – had been largely peaceful. In late June, Lviv was hit in an extensive Russian drone assault that had hit Kyiv and other cities.
Ukraine has recently bolstered its air defence systems with Western-supplied weapons and the number of Russian missiles and drones breaking through has diminished.
But the spokesperson for Ukraine’s air forces, Yuriy Ignat, recently said that newly supplied air defence systems were still insufficient to cover the entire country.