March 13 (UPI) — A military base near the border with Poland and a port city in the south of the country were hit with a series of airstrikes from Russian warplanes on Sunday.
The warplanes fired around 30 cruise missiles at the Yavoriv military training base killing at least 35 people and injuring 134 people who required hospitalization, officials with the Lviv Regional Military Administration said in statements posted to Facebook.
“On behalf of the whole Lviv region, I express my sincere condolences to the families of the deceased. We will not forget any hero and will not forgive any occupant!” said Maksym Kozytsky, head of the Lviv Regional Military Administration.
Officials said that casualties included civilians as well as military personnel and that fires had raged on the base for hours before they were eventually put out.
Kozytsky added that Ukrainian anti-air defense systems were able to shoot down many of the missiles that had been launched by Russian forces.
The base, home to the International Peacekeeping and Security Center, sits about 20 miles from NATO borders and the historic city of Lviv and was used as part of a NATO mission to train Ukrainian forces as recently as February, just days before the start of the invasion.
Andriy Sadovyi, the mayor of Lviv, repeated calls to “close the skies of Europe” after the attack in a message posted to Facebook.
“Joe Biden, Jens Stoltenberg, do you understand that war is closer than you imagine?” he wrote. “Russia is already on your border.”
Vitaliy Kim, the governor of the Mykolaiv region in southern Ukraine, said in a message posted to Facebook that nine civilians were killed in the city of Mykolaiv during an airstrike.
“The scum is bombing our city in order to spread panic. This is their deliberate tactic,” he said.
The office of Ukraine’s attorney general said in a statement on Telegram on Sunday that at least 85 children have died as a result of fighting and nearly 100 others have been wounded.
Most of the children died in the regions of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Sumy, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Zhytomyr, according to the statement. Bombing and shelling had also destroyed at least 57 educational institutions.