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Russian missiles launched from the Black Sea strike within Lviv city limits


The western Ukrainian city of Lviv has been a relatively safe haven for many fleeing the relentless Russian bombardment in other parts of the country. But today, Lviv became a target, as well, struck by missiles Ukrainian officials say were launched from the Black Sea. It's also a place where international aid and weapons have been flowing in from the U.S. and other Western allies roughly 50 miles from the border with Poland. NPR's Eric Westervelt has been out talking to people near the site of the strike. He joins us now. Eric, what was the target?

ERIC WESTERVELT, BYLINE: Yeah, good morning. This was a military aviation repair facility right next to the airport. It's just 4 miles from the city center. I was just out there. You can still see some smoke sort of drifting over the site. The military was keeping journalists away from direct access to where the missiles landed, but this was among the largest military repair sites in the country. They've had contracts to repair MiG-29 fighter jets. The buildings there were destroyed. Ukraine says six missiles were fired, and they were able to intercept two of them. Lviv's mayor says, you know, work stopped there in time. So there were few injuries, only one person injured.

MARTÍNEZ: Now, as I mentioned, this has long been a safe place, a relatively safe place as war rages around other parts of the country. What's the reaction been to the strike?

WESTERVELT: Yeah, I mean, I think that sense of calm in the west was already shattered a bit, you know, over the weekend when Russia attacked Sunday on a military base and training center not out - far outside the city. Thirty-five people were killed and more than a hundred others wounded. But yeah, I mean, hitting an airport site here with cruise missiles, the first attack in the city proper - that has certainly unnerved people, including, you know, many who fled here from from the violence in the east. We talked to residents at an apartment building right next to the airport near the attack site. We spoke with a woman named Deanna (ph) this morning. She was pushing her toddler daughter. She was stressed out. She was unnerved. She didn't want her last name used. Her husband is back in Kyiv to fight. She fled there with her family to try to be safe and secure here in Lviv. And she says that's now been completely broken.

DEANNA: (Through interpreter) I was sleeping, and my child woke me up. She must have heard the explosions. The entire building shook. It was very unpleasant. We left Kyiv because it got very hot there. So we came here. But it's obvious now that we can't stay here because we don't know what will be next.

WESTERVELT: Yeah, she told us she's now thinking about leaving the country, joining the more than 3 million other Ukrainians who've already fled their homeland.

MARTÍNEZ: Eric, one more thing. What about attacks in the rest of the country today? What's the latest with that?

WESTERVELT: Yeah. There were renewed attacks in the capital, Kyiv, including shelling and mortar rounds that the mayor there, you know, say wounded at least 19 people. In Kharkiv in the east, the government says 10 people were killed in an attack on an apartment complex. In the city of Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region, a rocket hit an apartment building, killing two and wounding half a dozen others. And then finally, I would say in Mariupol, rescuers continue to try to reach people believed to be trapped in that theater that was bombed on Wednesday. It's still unclear how many casualties are there. Rescuers are having trouble getting to the site because of continued shelling.

MARTÍNEZ: NPR's Eric Westervelt. Eric, thanks.

WESTERVELT: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Eric Westervelt is a San Francisco-based correspondent for NPR's National Desk. He has reported on major events for the network from wars and revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa to historic wildfires and terrorist attacks in the U.S.