Attack at the airport: for the first time the missiles hit inside the western city, a hub for refugees and western weapons. And trenches are now being dug around the outer belt
FROM OUR MAIL
LEOPOLI – The pink sky of dawn is dirty with black smoke Lviv. Lady of Galicia and princess of the Austro-Hungarian Empire now forced to deal with the assaults of the Tsar. Stop asking me why Putin bombs here too. So why does he hit the hospitals in Kharkiv, the kindergartens in Mariupol? Because like Hitler. The mayor, Andriy Sadovy, is furious at the 109 empty wheelchairs placed there to protest against the raids in Moscow. It is 6.08 in the morning when the sirens start to sound. Not a good sign after a quiet night, the first in days. Have you heard?. Anyone who lives near the airport has felt it by force. Six Kh-555 missiles, dropped by Russian bombers taken off from the Black Sea, two of which were intercepted by anti-aircraft, Ukrainian aviation later said. Stuff to raze an entire neighborhood.
24 minutes of sirens
A hangar between the airport and the railway was hit. Exactly four kilometers from the Unesco heritage center, the church of San Pietro e Paolo and the Armenian church. Next to it, a supermarket, a school and a church. 6:32 am the air alert ends. The city slowly comes out of the bunkers, the images on Twitter are already there. Yes, the airport.
Up the flyover on the way to Danylo Halytsky Airport, the sky black with smoke. The guards on the bridge are very nervous. The acrid smell enters the nose and makes the eyes water. Go away go away, Russian spies, passers-by shout at the journalists who have rushed to the scene.
Hijacked phones, deleted videos, aimed Kalashnikovs. No longer the parlor that remembers being European. Yeah, at the checkpoint, better look down. The incoming cars are checked one by one. Molotov cocktails, in a corner, waiting for the invader. The cars of the SBU, the Ukrainian services, go by at full speed.
On the left side, between the railway and the airport runway, the firefighters are hard at work putting out the flames. Many queue up to take the bus to the city. Workers, clerks, who leave the Soviet barracks on the outskirts to go to work. But the traffic blocked, even the depot of the yellow buses was damaged by the explosion, you do not pass. What would have happened if the missiles had dropped an hour later? Someone asks at the bus stop. went well today. No dead, one not seriously injured. Lviv risks the massacre. He risks the aid hub and the refuge of the two million refugees who have passed through Poland and the 200,000 who have stopped here. A disused airplane hangar was hit, explains Mayor Sadovy. We had abandoned it before the war precisely for prevention. A high-precision attack on Moscow, during which a factory parking lot where combat aircraft were parked was destroyed.
But it doesn’t take long to figure it out. Not only fleeing humans are arriving in Lviv. New recruits and military vehicles follow the road in the opposite direction towards the front. Yavoriv, the NATO training center razed to the ground on Sunday, a base for foreign fighters and militiamen not enough for Putin. The rear must also be weakened. Even the west bastion that resists between a flash mob in the square, a press conference and a classical music concert in the center, now, must be punished. Ukrainian politicians pass through here, diplomats, clerics, artists, and leaders come here to give support. But from here, above all, the weapons arriving from the West pass through. Lviv, a symbol of resistance and ammunition storage.
The war in Lviv, about seventy kilometers from Europe. The ace to keep up his sleeve on the negotiating table for Putin. The casus belli in Kiev to bring NATO here. But the game is not like in Mariupol where the mayor Vadym Boichenko confirms that Russian troops have arrived in the center. And less heavy than in Mykolaiv where 45 soldiers died in the bombed barracks. The next TV station in Lvivsays Ivan, a university student who works alongside the Kiev hackers. The station and its freight yard, too. Two barracks, at least, two power plants, a tank factory. Truck hubs and logistics centers as well. All in the sights of the Russians. Hitting them also means hitting the population. And here not even Hitler dared so much.
Trenches and camouflage
The wind changes. In the city there is discussion about whether to reopen nursery schools after primary school. Too dangerous. And for such small children, being moved to shelters every time is trauma. Immediately outside the second road belt, the defenses are strengthened. Trenches are being dug in the soil made soft by the emerging spring as the mud takes the place of the ice. Along the road to Lutsk, the checkpoints are now mini fortresses covered with camouflage cloths sewn in the city by volunteers. Behind the hill, a soldier with a heavy rocket launcher peeps out, one of those who came from outside. If the Belarusians arrive we are ready to welcome them.