On Sunday, waves of Russian missiles blasted a military training station in western Ukraine, killing 35 people in an attack on a site that had functioned as a vital hub for collaboration between Ukraine and the NATO countries backing it in its defence against Moscow’s relentless assault. More than 30 Russian cruise missiles were fired at the huge base, which is located near NATO member Poland and has long been used to train Ukrainian military personnel, often with instructors from the United States and other western alliance countries. Poland also serves as a transit point for Western military aid to Ukraine, and the bombings were in response to Moscow’s threats to target such shipments. An attack so close to the border had a lot of symbolic weight in a battle that has reignited ancient Cold War rivalries that gave birth to NATO and threatened to alter the present global security order.
According to the United Nations, at least 596 civilians have been killed since Russia’s incursion more than two weeks ago, however the exact toll is significantly higher. Millions more have abandoned their homes as a result of Europe’s worst land battle since World War II. Despite its overwhelming firepower, Russia has faced stiffer-than-expected resistance in Ukraine, which has been strengthened by Western arms backing. Instead, Russian soldiers have encircled many cities and bombarded them with attacks, destroying two dozen medical facilities and causing a slew of humanitarian disasters.
Many civilians have been caught in the crossfire, with at least 85 minors dead so far, according to Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s office. According to officials, an American journalist was killed and another was injured when their car was fired upon at a Russian checkpoint on Sunday. Meanwhile, US Vice President Joe Biden is sending his national security adviser to Rome to meet with a Chinese official on Monday, amid fears that China is amplifying Russian disinformation, while Pope Francis has appealed for peace. According to the governor of Ukraine’s western Lviv region, the attacked training center at Yavoriv is fewer than 25 kilometers (15 miles) from the nearest border point with Poland, and looks to be the westernmost target assaulted during Russia’s 18-day invasion.
The site has held international NATO maneuvers, with Admiral Rob Bauer, a top NATO official, hailing it as embodying “the spirit of military collaboration.” “Ukraine and international forces are at odds. As a result, the site represents Russia’s long-held fears that the 30-member Western military alliance poses a threat to Moscow by operating so close to its borders. One of Moscow’s criteria for the conclusion of hostilities in Ukraine is that the country abandon its NATO ambitions.
The majority of the Russian missiles fired Sunday, according to Lviv Governor Maksym Kozytskyi, “were shot down because the air defence system worked.” According to him, the ones who made it through killed at least 35 people and injured 134 others. Russian fighters also shot at the airport in Ivano-Frankivsk, a western city less than 150 kilometres (94 miles) north of Romania and 250 kilometres (155 miles) north of Hungary, both NATO partners. On Friday, the airport, which has a military airstrip as well as a runway for civilian planes, was also targeted.
NATO confirmed on Sunday that it presently has no forces in Ukraine, despite the United States increasing the number of troops stationed in Poland. White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan said the West would retaliate if Russian munitions crossed the Ukrainian border and attacked any NATO members, even if it happened by accident. Sullivan stated on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that Biden “has been explicit, again, that the United States will work with our partners to defend every inch of NATO territory, and that means every inch.”
On Monday, Sullivan will travel to Rome to meet with Yang Jiechi, a senior Chinese foreign policy adviser. Their meetings would focus on “efforts to manage our two countries’ competition and examine the implications of Russia’s war against Ukraine on regional and global security,” according to Emily Horne of the White House National Security Council. So far, the city of Lviv has been spared the devastation wreaking havoc to its east and south. Its 721,000 citizens have grown as a result of the war, with residents fleeing other battered population centres and as a stopover for the almost 2.6 million people who have fled the nation.
Ukraine’s and Europe’s leaders have pressed Russia to allow civilians caught in the crossfire safe escape, but with minimal success. With Russia’s approval, Ukrainian authorities said more than ten humanitarian corridors would open on Sunday, including one from Mariupol, the damaged and besieged port city where the municipal council estimated 2,187 people had been killed in fighting so far. The port city has seen some of the war’s worst desperation, and the municipal council accused the Russians of it “cynically and purposely bombing residential buildings, congested areas, children’s hospitals, and the city’s infrastructure.”
In a video speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said a convoy delivering 100 tonnes of humanitarian aid was heading to Mariupol, whose annexation might aid Russia in establishing a land corridor to Crimea, which it annexed from Ukraine in 2014. Efforts to transport supplies into besieged cities or civilians out of them have frequently failed, with Ukrainian officials accusing Russia of breaking promises to hold fire along temporary evacuation routes. According to Zelenskyy, Ukrainian officials have managed to evacuate over 125,000 individuals from locations where fighting is still taking place. However, ongoing violence on many fronts added to the country’s anguish on Sunday, evoking further worldwide indignation.
Authorities reported nine persons murdered in bombs in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, near the Black Sea. Meanwhile, they said that Russian airstrikes on a monastery and a children’s resort in the eastern Donetsk region injured 32 people by hitting areas where monks and others were refuge. Fighting intensified around Kyiv, the capital and a major political and strategic objective for the invasion, with overnight shelling in the northwestern suburbs and a missile attack to the east on Sunday destroying a warehouse.
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Russian troops opened fire on a car transporting two American journalists, according to the Kyiv Region Police’s official website. According to the force, Brent Renaud died and Juan Arredondo was injured. Russian forces appeared to be attempting to blockade and cripple the capital with day and night shelling of the suburbs, according to Chief Regional Administrator Oleksiy Kuleba. “We’re getting ready to defend Kyiv, and we’re prepared to fight for ourselves,” he said, vowing that any all-out invasion would face fierce resistance. Zelenskyy also said that Russians were blackmailing and bribing local officials in the southern Kherson region to persuade them to construct a “pseudo-republic” similar to the two eastern regions where Russian-backed rebels began battling Ukrainian forces in 2014.
According to Zelenskyy, 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers have killed in the conflict. The Russians announced a few days ago that several hundred of their troops had died, but they have not provided an updated count.As combat happened near nuclear power plants, the war has periodically raised the spectre of nuclear disaster. Ukraine announced on Sunday that it had repaired a broken power connection to the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear power facility, which was the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986. Last week, the factory was taken off the grid and forced to rely on generators. Concerns were expressed regarding its ability to keep spent fuel cold, but the International Atomic Energy Agency downplayed those concerns.
On Sunday, Pope Francis issued some of his most vehement condemnations of the violence in Ukraine, calling the killing of children and other civilians “barbarianism” and urging a halt to the bombings “before towns are converted to cemeteries.” Mariupol, which “bears the name” of the Virgin Mary, Francis remarked, has “become a city murdered by the sad conflict that is destroying Ukraine.”