Russia-Ukraine War, Day 17. A regional governor says 35 people have been killed and 134 wounded in a Russian air strike on a Ukrainian military base near the border with Poland amid reports of further Russian bombing of civilian targets. Ukrainian officials have also reported that 85 children have been killed since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.
The 260 square-kilometre facility known as the Yavoriv International Center for Peacekeeping and Security, is less than 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the Polish border. Ukraine holds most of its drills with NATO countries there.
Regional governor Maksym Kozytskiy said Russian planes fired around 30 rockets at the facility, adding that some were intercepted before they hit.
The ones that got through killed at least 35 people and wounded 134, he said.
The base has also hosted international NATO drills and a senior NATO official, Admiral Rob Bauer, previously hailed it as embodying “the spirit of military cooperation” between Ukraine and international forces. As such, the site symbolises a longstanding Russian complaint: that the 30-member Western military alliance has expanded in Eastern Europe too close to Russian territory.
Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said foreign military instructors worked at the facility. “Information about the victims is being clarified,” he said in an online post.One of Moscow’s stated conditions for ending the hostilities in Ukraine is for the country to drop its ambitions to join NATO.Meantime U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan warned of a full-fledged NATO response if a Russian strike were to hit member-state Poland.
Russia Attacks Airport in Western Ukraine
Separately, the mayor of Ivano-Frankivsk in western Ukraine said the city’s airport was targeted in an attack.
“According to preliminary information, this morning’s explosions were from an attack on the airport,” Mayor Ruslan Martsinkiv said on Facebook.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned Russian forces they face a fight to the death if they try to occupy Kyiv as air raid sirens again woke residents on Sunday morning.
“If they decide to carpet bomb and simply erase the history of this region … and destroy all of us, then they will enter Kyiv. If that’s their goal, let them come in, but they will have to live on this land by themselves,” Zelenskyy said on Saturday.
The president, who has repeatedly appeared on social media from the capital, said some small towns no longer existed in the third week of the Russian attacks, the biggest assault on a European country since World War II.
Russian shelling has trapped thousands of people in besieged cities and sent 2.5 million Ukrainians fleeing to neighbouring countries.
Ukraine accused Russian forces on Saturday of killing seven civilians in an attack on women and children trying to flee fighting near Kyiv. France said Russian President Vladimir Putin had shown no readiness to make peace.