In a significant escalation of the ongoing conflict, Moscow has launched a major air attack on Ukraine’s western regions of Lviv and Volyn, resulting in casualties and widespread damage. Reports indicate that at least three individuals lost their lives, while numerous others sustained injuries during the airstrikes. Ukrainian officials are responding with heightened defence measures as tensions in the region continue to mount.
The governor of the Volyn region, Yuriy Pohulyaiko, confirmed that a business enterprise in Lutsk, the administrative centre of the Volyn region, was struck, leading to three fatalities and several individuals being hospitalised. The Volyn region shares a border with NATO-member Poland, intensifying concerns over the conflict’s proximity to Western allies.
Initial assessments suggest that Russia’s air attack on the western region of Lviv did not result in any casualties. However, over 100 residential homes were damaged, approximately 500 windows were shattered, and a nursery playground was destroyed. Mayor Andriy Sadovyi of Lviv reported that several missiles were intercepted, but some still hit the city. An evacuation order was issued for a burning apartment building.
Ukraine’s air force announced that its air defence forces successfully intercepted and destroyed 16 out of at least 28 missiles launched by Russia overnight. Responding to the growing threat, the Ukrainian government declared its intention to allocate approximately £25 million from the federal budget reserve fund to reinforce the borders with Russia and Belarus in the northeastern regions of Kharkiv and Chernihiv.
While there are no immediate indications of an impending ground offensive from the north, Ukrainian defence officials are preparing for a range of scenarios. Both the Kharkiv and Chernihiv regions hold strategic importance to Ukraine’s defence strategy. The Russian troops’ previous advance through the Chernihiv region in the early days of the conflict underscores the region’s significance.
In a separate development, the Ukrainian energy ministry temporarily shut down a vital power line supplying the Chornobyl nuclear power plant due to damage. The ministry clarified that the damage was discovered in Belarus, but specific details were not provided. Despite the proximity to the Chornobyl disaster site, officials assure that there is no immediate safety concern as water levels required for cooling remain adequate.
Amid the intensifying conflict, accusations and counter-accusations continue between Moscow and Western powers. Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin asserted that the West is actively preparing for a direct military confrontation with Russia. He claimed that intensive military preparations are underway and suggested that the potential for a military clash with NATO is becoming more apparent. Such statements have often been regarded as propaganda in the ongoing information battle surrounding the conflict.