Heavy Russian bombardment targeting Lviv city and Zelensky confirms his quest to obtain weapons to speed up the counterattack


The Ukrainian authorities said a Russian missile strike killed at least four people in the western city of Lviv, and rescuers were searching through the rubble of an apartment building for survivors or victims.

Ukraine’s interior ministry said nine were injured and rescue workers were continuing to work at the site.

It added that the missile strikes destroyed the two upper floors of two parts of the building.

Maxim Kozitsky, governor of the Lviv region, posted a 13-second video showing a large four-storey apartment building.

Parts of the upper two floors destroyed or reduced to rubble.

The officials’ posts followed widespread warnings of air strikes across Ukraine and reports of cruise missiles entering the country’s airspace, and the mayor of Lviv, Andrei Sadovy, spoke of a series of explosions in the city.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told CNN that he had wanted to start the counterattack against Russia’s occupying forces earlier than it did in June and had urged Western allies to speed up the supply of weapons to him for this, according to excerpts of his speech via an interpreter.

“I wanted our counter-attack to happen much earlier, because everyone was aware that if the counter-attack unfolded later, a larger part of our territory would be mined, and we would give our enemy the time and possibility to lay more mines and prepare its defensive lines,” Zelensky added.

The Ukrainian president said difficulties on the battlefield had slowed the pace of the Ukrainian forces’ counter-offensive, which aims to recapture the territories Russia has occupied in the east and south since its invasion began in February last year.

Zelensky has repeatedly urged the United States and Western allies to provide Ukrainian forces with more advanced weaponry, such as US F16 fighter jets and longer-range missiles.

He did so again during the CNN interview, while also thanking the United States and European allies for their support.

“It’s not even about Ukraine skyrocketing the Russians, it’s just about equality,” he said.

“The F16s don’t just help soldiers on the battlefield move forward… The situation is simply very difficult without air cover”.

Last week, Zelensky said the counterattack was “slower than we’d like,” without elaborating, but said progress had been made “in all directions”.

Russia didn’t acknowledge Kiev’s gains and said Ukrainian forces were suffering heavy losses.

Zelensky said Russian President Vladimir Putin would try to consolidate his power after a short-lived mutiny by mercenaries of the Wagner private military group led by Yevgeny Prigozhin on June 24.

Zelensky asked, “After all these events, where did Putin go? … He rarely goes out into the street… We see him in his offices, but we never see him outside”.

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