Lviv rocked by cruise missile blasts as Putin opens chilling new war frontier in west Ukraine near Nato border

THREE Russian missiles exploded in Ukraine’s largest western city less than a day after Putin vowed to focus on the east. 

At least five people were injured after the blasts in Lviv, which is just 45 miles from Nato member Poland’s border. 

Thick black smoke was seen rising from a TV tower as the city’s air raid sirens were activated.

TV towers across Ukraine's other cities have also been a target of missile strikes throughout the war.

It is the first time Putin's military might has been seen from the centre of the city, which has been a safer destination in the country for refugees.

Lviv's mayor Andriy Sadovyi said a fuel storage facility is on fire as a result of the shelling.He urged everyone to stay in shelters.


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Humiliated tyrant Putin yesterday vowed his troops would focus on “liberating” pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Donbas region. 

But adviser to Ukraine’s ministry of defence Markian Lubkivskyi said he was sceptical over the claims.

It comes after President Zelensky said 16,000 Russian troops have been killed so far in Ukraine as his soldiers fight to retake the first city that Putin seized.

The Ukrainian leader, 44, said his troops had delivered "powerful blows" to Moscow’s forces around Kyiv and urged the Kremlin to negotiate an end to the bloody war. 

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But he vowed he would never let any Ukrainian territory be handed over to tyrant Putin, 69. 

Mr Zelensky also warned that Russia's bragging about its nuclear power is fuelling a dangerous arms race.

It came as adviser to Ukraine's ministry of defence Markian Lubkivskyi predicted troops could take back southern port city Kherson today. 

Mr Lubkivskyi said: "I believe that today the city will be fully under the control of Ukrainian armed forces.

"We have finished in the last two days the operation in the Kyiv region so other armed forces are now focused on the southern part trying to get free Kherson and some other Ukrainian cities."

Kherson, at the mouth of the Dnieper river, fell earlier this month in Russia's first major gain of the war.

But a US defence official said Russian control in the strategic city appeared to be waning as Ukrainian troops fight back.

It comes as

  • At least 300 people died after a theatre in Mariupol was shelled last week, Ukrainian authorities have claimed
  • A terrified Russian soldier has revealed they expected the war to be over in two weeks, in an intercepted phone call to his gran
  • In a further blow to Putin, Ukraine has reportedly pushed Russian troops out of the capital Kyiv
  • US President Joe Biden has warned Nato WILL respond if Russia uses chemical weapons in Ukraine
  • A Ukrainian refugee has given a heartbreaking account of how she dodged bodies as Putin's shells landed around her
  • Putin's alleged secret family has come to light as he continues his brutal invasion of Ukraine

The official said: "We would argue that Kherson is actually contested territory again.

"We can't corroborate exactly who is in control of Kherson but the point is, it doesn't appear to be as solidly in Russian control as it was before."

They added that if Ukraine did regain control, Russian troops around Mikolaiv would end up "sandwiched" between defence forces.

The official said: "That would make it very, very difficult for them to make any kind of ground movement on Odesa.

"That would be a significant development, no question about that, in terms of the southern part of the war."

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Zelensky says 16,000 Russians dead as Putin faces ‘defeat’ in Kyiv

Ukraine is also said to be close to major victories in the battle for Kyiv as British defence officials said there was now a "realistic possibility" that the towns of Bucha and Irpin would be encircled by Ukrainian forces.

The Ministry of Defence said Russian troops are facing "considerable supply and morale issues" and it was unlikely they would be able to regroup and take the capital.

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