Original Author: Victoria Kim and Constant Méheut
Russian forces targeted several Ukrainian cities on Tuesday, killing nine civilians and destroying humanitarian supplies, Ukrainian officials and an aid group said.
One of the first attacks came early Tuesday, when 18 drones were launched at the western city of Lviv, killing one person. Fifteen of the drones were intercepted by air defenses in the assault, which started at 3:40 a.m. local time and lasted more than two hours, Maksym Kozytskyi, the head of the region’s military administration, said on the Telegram messaging app.
The drones that evaded the defenses caused fires at warehouses that were still burning several hours later, he said. The body of one employee was found in the rubble of one of the warehouses, and another person was injured, local officials said. The claims had not been independently verified.
One of the warehouses held humanitarian aid from Caritas-Spes, a Catholic relief organization, and others held household chemicals. Caritas-Spes wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, that 300 tons of humanitarian supplies had burned. It released photos showing the wooden and iron structures of the warehouses ablaze, with corrugated metal sheets strewn across the ground.
The United Nations condemned the attack in a statement, noting that the aid warehouse had been “burned to the ground.” Eduard Kava, the auxiliary bishop of the Lviv archdiocese, said in a video posted on Facebook that some of the aid had been supplied by the Vatican.
“Warm clothes, shoes, generators,” Lviv’s mayor, Andriy Sadovy, said in a video posted on Telegram. “Now, it’s all on fire.”
Ukrainian officials said that eight more civilians were killed on Tuesday in two separate attacks on Kherson and Kupiansk, cities that are near the front lines in the south and the east. The claims had not been independently verified.
Oleh Syniehubov, the head of the military administration in the eastern region of Kharkiv, said that six people — four men and two women — had been killed after Russian forces dropped an aerial guided bomb on Kupiansk. The city has been under regular Russian bombardment for months and officials have stepped up calls for civilians to evacuate.
Lviv is hundreds of miles from the front lines and has largely been spared the worst violence of the war, though it has been hit by deadly strikes. But Tuesday’s attack on the city, which is 40 miles from Ukraine’s border with Poland, comes amid increasing concerns about Russian assaults close to the territory of countries that are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Because NATO members are protected under the alliance’s commitment to mutual defense, which considers an attack on one member as an attack on all, the close brushes raise the specter of the war spilling over into a broader conflict.
Earlier this month, Romania said it had found on three occasions debris from what could be a Russian drone within its borders across the Danube River from Ukraine, as Moscow has stepped up attacks on grain ports in the Danube delta. On Monday, Bulgaria’s defense ministry said debris from a drone that had been carrying explosives was found in a Bulgarian town across the Black Sea from the Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula.
Neither country has made mention of Article 5 of the NATO treaty, the joint defense pact, over the debris.