Mar 18, 2022 - World

Russia strikes aircraft facility in Lviv, shattering city's relative peace

People watching smoke rising over Lviv after Russian forces struck an aircraft repair plant near the city's airport on March 18.

Smokes rises after Russian missiles struck an aircraft repair plant near Lviv's airport on March 18. Photo: Turiy Dyachyshyn/AFP via Getty Images

Russian cruise missiles struck an airplane repair facility west of Lviv's international airport on Friday, Mayor Andriy Sadovy said, according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: Lviv, which is roughly 50 miles east of Poland's border, has served as a safe haven for people fleeing fighting and seen relatively little action before Friday.

  • Sadovy said the repair plant was not operating at the time of the attack and no casualties were reported. A large plume of smoke could be seen rising from the city’s west after the attack.

The big picture: Since the start of Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the western portion of the country has seen comparatively little of the conflict so far, though Russia started striking more targets in the region over the last week.

  • On Sunday, Russian missiles struck a military training facility near the Ukraine-Poland border, killing at least 35 people and prompting warnings from NATO countries.
  • U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday that the defensive alliance would respond to any attack on NATO territory — even an accidental strike.

A senior U.S. defense official during a background briefing Thursday said there have been more than 1,000 observed missile launches by Russian against Ukraine so far.

  • The official said that Russian forces appear to be increasingly relying on non-precision-guided munitions more than at the start of the invasion, which suggests that "they might be either conserving their precision-guided munitions or beginning to experience shortages."

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