Russia launches major air attack near Polish border

Kyiv air defence sources said they downed 16 out of at least 28 missiles launched by President Vladimir Putin.

Scores of people were injured while homes and firms were set ablaze. Yuriy Pohulyaiko, Volyn governor, said three people were killed and many taken to hospital in the regional capital Lutsk when a business was hit.

Volyn borders Nato-member Poland and there are growing fears that Moscow is becoming emboldened to extend its war.

More than 100 houses were damaged in Lviv where mayor Andriy Sadovyi said: “Many missiles were shot down but there were also hits in Lviv.”

He posted a video of a crater by a multi-storey building with all its windows blasted out and debris apparently from a playground.

The Lviv region is far from the front lines of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and it had so far been spared most of Russia’s air attacks.

But last month seven people were killed as a missile slammed into a residential building.

Today’s attack was reportedly the largest air assault on the Lviv region since the war began in February 2022.

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Elsewhere, Kyiv forces managed to push back Moscow’s troops in part of the south-east where Ukraine aims to retake Russian-occupied territory.

Hanna Maliar, deputy defence minister, said progress has been slowed by minefields and strong fortifications thrown up by the invaders.

But she said Ukraine soldiers gained ground at Staromaiorske, 60 miles south-west of Russian-held Donetsk, and troops were fighting for control of the neighbouring settlement of Urozhaine.

Officials in Kyiv have acknowledged that the progress of Ukraine’s long-awaited offensive has been slower than they wanted.

General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, commander of Ukraine’s southern forces, said: “There are liberated territories.”

Ms Maliar added that Ukraine had wrested back control of two square miles around the ruined eastern city of Bakhmut, scene of the bloodiest battles of the war.

She also said Russian troops were continuing their assault around the eastern towns of Kupyansk and Lyman, where they were reportedly regrouping.

Ms Maliar added: “The Russians have intensified these offensives after the success of the Ukrainian army on Bakhmut axis”.

Russia still controls around a fifth of Ukraine, including the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, Luhansk region in the east and swathes of the regions of Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.

The occupied territory includes most of Ukraine’s coastline and parts of the Donbas, its industrial heartland.

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