Witnesses to a deadly Russian attack on a Ukrainian military base have told how “the sky turned red” as missiles struck the site near the Polish border.
At least 35 people died in the strike on the Yavoriv training base, near a major crossing point into Poland used by refugees from the conflict.
Russia fired around 30 cruise missiles at the base, outside the city of Lviv, early Sunday, the local governor said.
Hours after the attack, ambulances were still rushing to the scene.
Roads leading to the facility were blocked with checkpoints and authorities were conducting search-and-rescue operations.
Russian jets fired around 30 cruise missiles at the site, also known as the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre, authorities in Lviv said. Most, though, were intercepted by the air defence system.
Video of the aftermath of the attack posted online and verified by the BBC showed a huge crater at the site and thick smoke billowing from a massive fire at a small building nearby.
Dukhnych Vitalii, a 19-year-old student who lives in a nearby apartment complex, said “the night sky turned red” as the attack happened. “We can’t hear the air raid sirens in this area. We woke up when we heard the sound of the first explosion. We went to the bunker,” he said. “It looked scary.”
His 25-year-old cousin was training at the facility, Vitalii said, and his family were still trying to contact him.
Another resident, Nadin Berezovska, said she could see the fire from her parents’ flat, where she had been living after fleeing the country’s capital, Kyiv. “It was very scary. We’re in shock,” Berezovska, a 39-year-old photographer, said.
“Now we realise that it doesn’t matter where you live,” she said. “We aren’t safe. How can Poland be safe?”
The base has previously been used for military training of Ukrainian troops, often with instructors from the US and other Nato countries. It was not immediately clear whether foreign instructors were at the centre when it was hit. (BBC)