February 8, 2023

The western Ukrainian city of Elviv has so far escaped a Russian attack and been rocked by powerful explosions.

Maksym Kozytsky, head of the Liviv regional military administration, warned in a post on his official Facebook account that there were still threats of missile strikes.

“Information on what is involved in residential building or other infrastructure materials has not been confirmed,” he said.

Earlier, three powerful explosions were heard in the center of the city and worms of dense black smoke could be seen rising in the distance. Air strike sirens sounded before the bombings.

Elviv is a strategic Ukrainian city near the Polish border that was largely protected from the incessant bombardment seen throughout much of the country during the Russian invasion. It was a surprise attack a day after the Russian military announced that the first phase of the conflict was over and that it was turning its attention to the disputed eastern part of Ukraine.

The bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a U.S. military base Saturday in Poland, Where he met with his Polish envoy Andrzej Duda and Ukrainian officials and refugees. After Biden Performed the text Outside the Royal Castle in the Polish capital, Warsaw, Russian President Vladimir Putin forcibly declared that he was no longer head of state.

“For God’s sake, this man cannot be in power,” Biden declared at the end of his speech.

Earlier in the speech, he told the Ukrainian people: “We stand with you. Time.” Biden was briefed about the strike on Liv, before leaving for his speech at his hotel, a White House official said.

“Ukraine and its people are now at the forefront of the relentless struggle for democracy and freedom, and their courageous opposition is part of a larger struggle for the essential democratic principles that unite all free peoples,” Biden said.

Smoke billows into the air on Saturday in the city of Lviv in western Ukraine.

Live Mayor Andrei Sadovy said on Twitter on Saturday that Russian troops had attacked the city but did not provide details. He urged residents to stay in shelters.

According to Sadovy, an industrial facility in Lviv used for fuel storage was burned as a result of the Russian strike.

“As a result of the missile attack, one of the industrial facilities burns down. This is fuel storage,” the mayor said. He did not specify whether this was the cause of the smoke.

“Livable infrastructure is not injured,” the mayor added.

Saturday’s strikes are not the first strikes on Liv. Several Russian missiles were fired An aircraft repair plant There on March 18th. The facility was shut down before the strikes, and there were no reports of casualties.

Their primary focus is now on eastern Ukraine, after a top Russian general said on Friday that the “first phase” of Russia’s military program was over.

It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.

“In general, the main tasks of the first phase of the process have been completed,” Colonel General Sergei Rutskoy, the first vice president of Russia’s civil service, told a conference. “The combat capability of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has been significantly reduced.

After several days of Western leaders revealing their united front against Russia, Saturday’s strikes could be seen as a response by Putin and his military to Biden and the West.

The Russian military says it has not targeted civilians or civilians, despite widespread evidence to the contrary.

CNN’s Chandler Thornton, Guidlon Collins, Kevin Lipdog and Megan Vasquez Contributed to this report.