Lviv hit by cruise missiles, Russian defence ministry says

Firefighters putting out flames after Russian missile strikes to a fuel storage facility in Lviv on March 26, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

LVIV (REUTERS) - Russia struck military targets in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv with high-precision cruise missiles, the Russian defence ministry said on Sunday (March 27).

Russia struck a fuel depot being used by Ukrainian forces near Lviv with long-range missiles and used cruise missiles to strike a plant in the city being used to repair anti-aircraft systems, radar stations and sights for tanks, the ministry said.

"The armed forces of the Russian Federation continue offensive actions as part of the special military operation," the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry showed a video of the missile strikes in Lviv.

Officials in Lviv, just 60km from the border with Nato member Poland, said people had been wounded in the missile attacks.

Russia used sea-based long-range missiles to destroy an arsenal of S-300 missiles and BUK anti-aircraft missile systems near Kyiv, the ministry said.

Russian forces also destroyed a number of drones, it said.

Russia has also started destroying Ukrainian fuel and food storage depots, meaning the government will have to disperse the stocks of both in the near future, Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Vadym Denysenko said on Sunday.

Speaking on local television, Mr Denysenko said Russia was bringing forces to the Ukrainian border on rotation, and could make new attempts to advance in its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a "special operation".

Separately, the Russian-backed self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine could hold a referendum soon on joining Russia, the republic’s news outlet cited local separatist leader Leonid Pasechnik as saying on Sunday.

"I think that in the near future a referendum will be held on the territory of the republic," Mr Pasechnik said. "The people will exercise their ultimate constitutional right and express their opinion on joining the Russian Federation." 

Meanwhile, the next round of face to face talks between Ukraine and Russia will take place in Turkey on March 28-30, Ukrainian negotiator David Arakhamia said on social media on Sunday.

Ukraine described previous talks with Russia, launched after Russia unleashed an invasion last month, as “very difficult”.

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Russia last month recognised Lugansk and Donetsk self-proclaimed republics as independent and ordered what it called a peacekeeping operation in the region shortly after.

According to the head of Ukrainian military intelligence, Russia is trying to split Ukraine in two to create a Moscow-controlled region after failing to take over the whole country.

“In fact, it is an attempt to create North and South Korea in Ukraine,” Mr Kyrylo Budanov said in a statement, adding that Ukraine would soon launch guerrilla warfare in Russian-occupied territory.

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