Press TV: A Russian missile attack near the airport in western Ukraine’s Lviv has destroyed a factory and damaged a bus repair garage, sending shockwaves across the garrison city where thousands of refugees have taken shelter from the raging war.
City residents were woken by deafening air raid sirens in the wee hours of Friday morning, as a plume of smoke rose through the clear azure sky.
The mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadovy, was quoted as saying that several missiles had struck an aircraft repair factory in the city and authorities were assessing the situation.
In a Telegram post, Sadovy said the aircraft repair building was destroyed in the fire, but operations had already been suspended and there were no casualties.
Emergency vehicles had rushed to the scene, while motorists were turned away at checkpoints, the AFP news agency reported on Friday.
The Ukrainian Air Force, citing preliminary reports, said the aircraft repair plant was hit by cruise missiles launched from the Black Sea and that other Russian missiles were reportedly shot down by Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense mid-air.
US President Joe Biden is due to hold a telephone conversation with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping later on Friday in a fresh attempt to persuade Beijing to condemn Russia’s military operation in the former Soviet republic.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Biden will “make clear that China will bear responsibility for any actions it takes to support Russia’s aggression and we will not hesitate to impose costs.”
“It appears that China is moving in the opposite direction,” Blinken said, adding he was “concerned that they’re considering directly assisting Russia with military assistance.”
Lviv, a UNESCO-designated world heritage site, had until Friday been largely unharmed by Russia’s military operation that is now into its fourth week.
Since the Russian military operation began last month, the city has rapidly transformed into a garrison town, with hundreds of thousands of people seeing it as a safe haven.
Meanwhile, residents of a region in northern Poland that will house a US missile facility worry they could become Russian targets in case the conflict expands beyond the Ukrainian borders.
“If a serious armed conflict breaks out, the first strike will target our shield,” said Ryszard Kwiatkowski, the former deputy mayor of the town of Slupsk, home to around 90,000 people.
A similar US facility — officially called Aegis Ashore — is already up and running in Romania.
“There are no offensive or defensive systems. All military systems are aggressive,” Kwiatkowski was quoted as saying by AFP.
In the latest move aimed at forcing Moscow to retreat from Ukraine, UK broadcasting regulator Ofcom on Friday revoked the license of Russia’s state-funded television channel RT.
The move follows a similar ban imposed by the European Union and the United States shutting down the network earlier this month, as Western nations seek to isolate Russia for its actions.
“Ofcom has today revoked RT’s license to broadcast in the UK, with immediate effect,” the regulator said in a statement, adding that the channel was not “fit and proper” to operate in the country.
It made the decision after launching 29 investigations into the “due impartiality of RT’s news and current affairs coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”, Ofcom said.
Disclosure: Press TV (stylised as PRESSTV) is an Iranian state-owned news and documentary network that broadcasts in the English and French languages owned by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), the only organization legally able to transmit radio and TV broadcasts in Iran.