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Ukraine Says 'Powerful' Russian Strikes Kill 7 in Lviv

Lviv, Ukraine.

A series of "powerful" Russian strikes on military infrastructure in Lviv on Monday left several dead and ignited blazes in the west Ukraine city that has been spared fierce fighting.

A resident of Lviv told AFP they could see thick plumes of grey smoke rising above residential buildings and air raid sirens sounded throughout the city during and after the strikes.

"At the moment, we are able to confirm that seven people have died. We also know that 11 people are injured. A child is among them," the Lviv regional governor Maksym Kozytsky said in an update on the strikes on social media.

"Three victims are in critical condition," he added.

He said that four Russian missiles, which initially were reported to have claimed six lives, had targeted Ukrainian military infrastructure and that a car tire center had also been struck.

"The facilities were severely damaged," Kozytsky said in an initial post, adding later that unused warehouses had been struck.

Twenty-one-year-old Lviv resident Andrei said he was sleeping when the sirens began wailing at around 8:00 a.m. (06:00 GMT).

"I slept through the first three strikes, but then when the last one hit, it was like my windows were about to break, and the furniture moved," he told AFP.

Lviv, near Ukraine's border with Poland, so far been spared being embroiled in the worst of the fighting sparked by Russia's invasion of its pro-Western neighbor nearly two months ago.

Instead, the city has become of refuge for people displaced from the war-scarred east and at the start of the fighting hosted several Western embassies transferred from Kyiv.

The attacks Monday come as Russia has intensified strikes in and around the capital Kyiv further east, targeting over several days a number of facilities that produce military hardware. 

Those bombardments come after Moscow vowed to increase strikes on the capital in response to what Russian military officials claimed were Ukrainian attacks on Russian soil and the sinking of the Moskva warship.

"Five powerful missile strikes at once on the civilian infrastructure of the old European city of Lviv," Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhaylo Podolyak wrote on Twitter.

"The Russians continue barbarically attacking Ukrainian cities from the air, cynically declaring to the whole world their 'right' to kill Ukrainians," he said. 

The head of Ukraine's national railways Alexander Kamyshin said on social media that some of the site's infrastructure had been damaged and there would likely be delays to services, but no passengers or staff were injured.

AFP journalists saw black smoke billowing from the gutted roof of a car repair shop above railway tracks in the northwest of the city, around four kilometers (2.5 miles) from the city center.

Lviv in late March was hit by series of Russian strikes that targeted a fuel depot and injured five people. On March 18, bombardments hit an aircraft repair factory near Lviv's airport. No injuries were reported. 

Russian cruise missiles on March 13 targeted a major military base about 40 kilometers (25 miles) north west of Lviv, killing at least 35 people and injuring 134. 

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