Russia bombs a Ukrainian base 25 kilometers from Poland with missiles and increases tension with NATO | International

The Russian Army has launched 30 missiles at dawn on Sunday against a Ukrainian military base located in the Lviv region (Lviv, west), just about 25 kilometers from the border with Poland, a member country of both the European Union and NATO, as confirmed by the military authorities of the region. Its about Center for International Peacekeeping and Security, a military training facility located in the town of Yavoriv that has received visits from different delegations from the Atlantic Alliance. The governor of the Lviv region points out that the attack has caused at least 35 deaths and 134 wounded, while the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Oleksii Reznikov, assures that there were “foreign instructors” at the facility. With this bombing, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, not only redoubles his threat to Ukraine, but also hardens his pulse with the European Union and NATO a day after the EU expressed its intention to send the country all the weapons that are necessary. Moscow has designated the supply of weapons to Kiev as a “legitimate objective”.

A spokesman for the Armed Forces of Ukraine has pointed out that the attack hit one of the military units at the Yavoriv base, as reported by the Lviv Military Administration. It is one of the largest military training facilities in the country, with 360 square kilometers. It has been fundamentally dedicated to the training of Ukrainian troops and it is where most of the training programs with NATO countries have been carried out. It was launched in 2007 to train the Ukrainian military, especially those assigned to UN peacekeeping missions around the world, according to defense sources. Five days ago, the president, Volodímir Zelenski, announced that he was withdrawing the soldiers from his country deployed in this type of mission in order to face the Russian invasion.

The attacked military facility has also received visits from delegations from the Atlantic Alliance, according to information from the military cooperation agency, and usually hosts international troops, who learn skills such as mine removal for peacekeeping missions there. Ukraine is not a member of NATO, to which it has aspired to enter without progress since it received the invitation in 2008. Their membership is one of the red lines used by the Kremlin to justify the invasion.

A soldier wounded in the attack on the Lviv military base this Sunday.
A soldier wounded in the attack on the Lviv military base this Sunday.Luis de Vega

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Ukraine’s Defense Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, said in a message on his Twitter profile, collected by the Efe agency: “Foreign instructors work here. Information about the victims is being clarified. This is a new terrorist attack against peace and security near the border between the European Union and NATO. Action must be taken to stop this.”

A journalist from EL PAÍS managed to arrive this Sunday at the entrance to the venue. At the access door, a large flow of ambulances could be seen entering and leaving the military facility. At the door, a group of Ukrainian soldiers commented among themselves that the attack took place between four and five in the morning, but they refused to provide more information to the journalists.

Around 10:45 in the morning, hours after the attack, the alarm sirens have sounded in the urban centers that surround the immense military base. After hearing them, the inhabitants of the area have quickly gone to the anti-aircraft shelters before the warning of possible new bombings. Most of the citizens nervously ran to seek shelter as soon as possible, while the loudspeakers in the streets also warned of a possible new attack. Meanwhile, in the nearby town of Novoiavorivsk, relatives of the military waited next to the local hospital to find out if their loved ones were among the victims, amid the movement of wounded soldiers entering and leaving the health center.

A soldier wounded in the attack on the Lviv military base this Sunday.
A soldier wounded in the attack on the Lviv military base this Sunday.Luis DeVega Hernandez

The Kremlin has launched other attacks on Sunday in different areas of the country, including Mikolaiv, a Black Sea port city where nine people have died after a bombing in a residential area. With its strategy, Moscow seeks to break the supply chain of arms and humanitarian aid from the allied countries to Ukraine, and also to make it difficult to transport it. On Friday, two more attacks by Putin’s troops hit targets far from the hotter front and targeted two western cities, Ivano-Frankivsk and Lutsk. The pattern has been repeated this Sunday in another attempt to prevent Ukraine from resupplying: this time the objective has been the Ivano-Frankivsk airport, a town of 230,000 inhabitants located 153 kilometers from the border with Romania, as confirmed by its mayor, Ruslan Martsinkiv.

A soldier wounded in the attack on the Lviv military base.
A soldier wounded in the attack on the Lviv military base. Luis de Vega

Attacks closer to the EU

This morning’s bombing has been the closest to the border with the European Union so far. The attacks have been drawing closer since Friday, when Putin’s forces attacked the Lutsk airbase, some 80 kilometers from Poland, killing four soldiers and wounding six. They were the first fatalities of the war at a point so close to EU and NATO territory.

On Saturday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said any arms shipment to Ukraine would be considered a “legitimate military objective.” Despite the threats, the allies of the eastern country have assured that they will continue to supply defense material. In fact, the United States announced on Saturday that it would speed up the contribution of 200 million dollars, just over 183 million euros, in additional funds for small arms, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons. So far, Russia has had limited success in disrupting supply convoys or other military traffic in Ukraine.

Military exercises at the Yavoriv base, on January 28, in a photo provided by the Ukrainian Army.
Military exercises at the Yavoriv base, on January 28, in a photo provided by the Ukrainian Army.UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY (via REUTERS)

In addition, the Ukrainian authorities have denounced this Sunday that the eastern towns of Sievierodonetsk and Rubiyne have suffered continuous bombing in recent hours, which has spread to the nearby areas of Popasna and Lisichansk. For its part, the coastal city of Mariupol (southeast, in the Sea of ​​Azov) continues to be under constant siege, and a humanitarian convoy is expected to arrive throughout the day to the town, which is suffering from a situation of human catastrophe, according to local authorities.

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