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Russian strikes hit outskirts of Ukrainian capital

LVIV, UKRAINE (AP) – Russian forces pressed their assault on Ukrainian cities yesterday, with new missile strikes and shelling on the edges of the capital Kyiv and the western city of Lviv, as world leaders pushed for an investigation of the Kremlin’s repeated attacks on civilian targets, including schools, hospitals and residential areas.

Outside Lviv, black smoke billowed for hours after the early morning strike by several missiles, which the mayor said hit a facility for repairing military aircraft near the city’s international airport, also damaging a bus repair facility. No casualties were immediately reported.

The facility had suspended work ahead of the attack, said the mayor Andriy Sadovyi on the Telegram messaging app.

A soldier standing guard near the site said he heard three blasts in quick succession around 6am. A nearby resident described his building vibrating from the explosions and people panicking.

The missiles that hit Lviv were launched from the Black Sea, but two of the six that were launched were shot down, Ukrainian air force’s western command said on Facebook.

Burning buildings in a residential area in northeast Chernihiv, Ukraine. PHOTO: AP

Not far from the Polish border and well behind the front lines, Lviv and the surrounding area have not been spared Russia’s attacks. In the worst, nearly three dozen people were killed last weekend in a strike on a training facility near the city. Meanwhile, Lviv’s population has swelled by some 200,000 as people from elsewhere in Ukraine have sought shelter there.

Early morning barrages also hit on the northern edges of Kyiv. At least one person was killed by shelling on Podil, a neighbourhood just north of downtown Kyiv, according to emergency services.

In city after city around Ukraine, hospitals, schools and buildings where people sought safety from the bombardment have been attacked.

Rescue workers searched for survivors in the ruins of a theatre that served as a shelter when it was blown apart by a Russian airstrike in the besieged southern city of Mariupol.

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday that American officials were evaluating potential war crimes and that if the intentional targetting of civilians by Russia is confirmed, there will be “massive consequences”.

The United Nations (UN) political chief Undersecretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo also called for an investigation into civilian casualties, reminding the UN Security Council that international humanitarian law bans direct attacks on civilians.