Russian missiles have targeted an aircraft maintenance plant in Lviv, Ukraine’s western metropolis and a safe haven for hundreds of thousands of internally displaced Ukrainians, 50 kilometers from the Polish border.

Blasts were heard around 6 a.m. on Friday, followed by the sound of air-raid sirens, as a mushroom-shaped column of smoke rose into the sky.

The civilian airport has not been affected, according to Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovy, who added that authorities were analyzing the situation and will provide updates.

According to the Agence France-Presse news agency, emergency vehicles rushed to the scene, while motorists were turned away at checks.

The Ukrainian air force stated cruise missiles fired from the Black Sea hit the aircraft repair complex, and that other Russian missiles were shot down by Ukrainian anti-aircraft defenses before reaching their target.

The factory was not in use at the time of the strike, and no injuries have been reported, according to Sadovy.

Officials say the missiles – most likely Kh-555 warheads launched from heavy strategic bombers – did not reach Danylo Halytskyi airport in Lviv, which offered flights to more than 50 international destinations before the invasion, including Madrid, London, Paris, Milan, Venice, Catania, and Barcelona.

Until Friday, Russian bombardment had mainly spared Lviv, a Unesco world heritage site, though many of its 700,000 residents had feared an attack was only a matter of time.

The city has been dubbed “Ukraine’s soul” and “a symbol of Ukrainian nationalism.” Its residents were among the most ardent proponents of the country’s de-Sovietization.

Lviv has quickly become a garrison town since the Russian invasion began. It is the epicenter of the country’s nationalist movement, and inhabitants understood the town would be in Russia’s crosshairs because of its municipal airport and military base.

Foreign embassies were relocated to Lviv during the Russian troops’ assault on Kyiv, making the city the new diplomatic capital of Ukraine and the focal point of the western response.

Thousands of displaced individuals seeking shelter come to the railway station every day from eastern communities devastated by airstrikes. Lviv is home to at least 200,000 internally displaced persons, straining the city’s resources.

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