Russian Missiles Strike Ukrainian Military Training Base Near Polish Border

A Russian airstrike killed 35 people at a Ukrainian military training center about 10 miles from the Polish border early Sunday, one day after Moscow warned the West that it would consider arms deliveries to Ukraine as legitimate targets.

Eight missiles hit the facility at Yavoriv, ​​a base where until last month the US National Guard trained Ukrainian troops. US national security adviser Jake Sullivan warned that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization would react if a Russian strike were to hit member-state Poland. Such a strike would bring “the full force of the NATO alliance to bear in responding to it,” Mr. Sullivan said in an interview Sunday on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”

Shortly after the strike, ambulances were seen rushing toward the base, and troops were seen leaving.

Footage on social media showed destroyed buildings and a parade ground strewn with debris, with smoke rising from the ruins. The strike injured more than 130 people and destroyed and damaged some barracks, according to the governor’s office in Lviv.

The Russian strikes could impede what has been a vital lifeline for Ukraine and bring the war perilously close to the country’s border with Poland.

Armaments supplied to Ukraine by the US and its European allies—especially antitank and antiaircraft weapons—have played an important role in checking the advance of Russian ground troops, who have suffered heavy casualties in the north as they have attempted a vast encirclement of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

A bus driver and his son, a doctor, stand in front of a bus damaged in Sunday’s airstrike at the nearby Yavoriv military complex in western Ukraine.


Photos:

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

A man wounded in the airstrike at Yavoriv received medical assistance Sunday at Novoyavorivsk District Hospital.


Photos:

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The strike on the training facility comes as Moscow has shown off its ability to bomb targets throughout the country even as its ground troops near Kyiv have faced setbacks.

Missiles also hit an airport near the city of Ivano-Frankivsk in western Ukraine on Sunday morning, the third attack on the city since the invasion began, the mayor said. On Saturday, cruise missiles slammed into an airport south of Kyiv, setting fire to an oil terminal and an ammunition depot, authorities said.

Earlier in the war, NATO allies openly publicized the arms shipments they were sending into Ukraine. In the first week of the war, governments such as the Czech Republic and Poland shared news of their deliveries on Facebook and Twitter.

Arms are still flowing into the country, but allies have become more discreet in how widely they disclose the shipments. At least seven military cargo jets from NATO allies landed on Saturday alone in Rzeszow, at a small airport in southern Poland that has become the staging ground for supplies going into Ukraine.

Areas no longer controlled by Ukraine as of Friday

Direction of invasion forces

Controlled by or allied to Russia

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Chernobyl

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Ukraine territory, recognized by Putin as independent

controlled by

separatists

Areas no longer controlled by Ukraine as of Friday

Direction of invasion forces

Controlled by or allied to Russia

Ukraine territory, recognized by Putin as independent

Primary refugee crossing locations

Chernobyl

Not in operation

controlled by

separatists

Areas no longer controlled by Ukraine as of Friday

Direction of invasion forces

Controlled by or allied to Russia

Primary refugee crossing locations

Ukraine territory, recognized by Putin as independent

Chernobyl

Not in operation

controlled by

separatists

Areas no longer controlled by Ukraine as of Friday

Direction of invasion forces

Controlled by or allied to Russia

Primary refugee crossing locations

Ukraine territory, recognized by Putin as independent

Areas no longer controlled by Ukraine as of Friday

Direction of invasion forces

Controlled by or allied to Russia

Primary refugee crossing locations

Ukraine territory, recognized by Putin as independent

“We’re making deliveries every day in terms of what we can do in terms of assistance, and in particular when you look at what we’re doing as it relates to antitank and defense systems,” Vice President Kamala Harris said Thursday. “That is an ongoing process and that is not going to stop, to the extent there is a need.”

On Saturday, President Biden authorized $200 million in new security assistance to Ukraine, bringing the total authorized US security assistance to the nation this year to $1.2 billion, according to a White House official.

On Saturday, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said that Moscow viewed arms deliveries to Ukraine as legitimate military targets.

“We have warned what kind of consequences the thoughtless transfer of weapons, such as portable air-defense systems and antitank systems, into Ukraine could have,” he said, speaking on state television. “It is the US that is the source of maximum tension.”

Ukrainian soldiers guarded a barricade in Irpin on Saturday.


Photos:

Sergei Supinsky/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Mourners gathered in Lviv, in western Ukraine, on Friday for the funeral of three fallen soldiers.


Photos:

Justyna Mielnikiewicz/MAPS for The Wall Street Journal

The military base targeted by Russia on Sunday sits near a thoroughfare leading between Poland and Lviv, a city in western Ukraine that has been serving as a major logistical hub.

The US training mission evacuated from the base in mid-February, when the White House was warned of an impending invasion of Ukraine. On the base, Ukrainian troops were being trained to use US-supplied Javelin antitank weapons systems, a potent weapon against Russian armor.

Ukraine’s military said at a briefing in Lviv on Sunday that a Russian bomber, based in the Russian provincial city of Saratov, launched the rockets from over the Black Sea. Ukrainian antiaircraft systems destroyed most of them, but eight reached their target on the military base .

Russia has had limited success in disrupting supply convoys or other military road traffic in Ukraine since the beginning of its invasion two weeks ago. Ukrainian troops, tanks and other weaponry on the move are a frequent sight on highways during daylight hours.

The attack on an area so close to the Polish border also illustrates the potential risk to the hundreds of thousands of refugees who are using that corridor to flee the country. About 2.6 million people have fled Ukraine for neighboring countries.

A Polish soldier helped a refugee from Ukraine at the Medyka border crossing on Saturday.


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Petros Giannakouris/Associated Press

Ukrainian servicemen attended a prayer service Sunday before going into battle.


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THOMAS PETER/REUTERS

Shortly after the air strikes Sunday morning on the facility at Yavoriv, ​​a checkpoint guard at the base’s entrance warned of additional shelling, as dozens of uniformed soldiers and young men in street clothes exited through the gates and dispersed into a forest.

A spokesman for the International Legion of Defense of Ukraine declined to comment on reports that fighters from foreign countries were receiving military training at the base. A Ukrainian military spokesman also declined to comment but said there were no foreigners among the dead or wounded, as did the Yavoriv mayor’s office.

A physician at a hospital in nearby Novoyavorivsk said he hadn’t identified any foreigners among the bloodied and dazed wounded men who wandered the facility or left it on stretchers.

On Wednesday, NATO defense ministers meet in Brussels to discuss the Ukraine conflict, while Mr. Sullivan is expected to travel to Rome on Monday to meet with Yang Jiechi, a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party Politburo. The two will discuss US-Chinese relations and war in Ukraine.

Another round of talks between European leaders and Russian President Vladimir Putin over the weekend yielded little progress in ending the conflict. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron unsuccessfully tried to convince Mr. Putin to agree to an immediate cease-fire and a negotiated end to the war.

Though Russia’s offensive appears to be bogged down by fierce Ukrainian resistance and logistical problems, Russia has said it is going according to plan. In Moscow, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Sunday that Russian forces shot down a Ukrainian Sukhoi Su-24 plane and two Ukrainian drones. He didn’t address the strikes on the training center.

In total, 99 military aircraft and 128 Ukrainian army drones have been destroyed since the beginning of what the Kremlin has described as the “special military operation,” Maj. Gen. Konashenkov said. In addition, nearly 3,700 Ukrainian military infrastructure facilities were put out of action and about 1,200 tanks and other armored combat vehicles had been destroyed, he added.

Cruise missiles slammed into an airport south of Kyiv, setting fire to an oil terminal and an ammunition depot, authorities said. Russian strikes also hit suburbs to the east and west and a drone crashed in the center of the city after being shot down, setting fire to a bank, officials said.

In a news conference Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian forces could take large chunks of the country but wouldn’t manage to hold on to any gains. Protesters have already greeted Russian forces in cities they are occupying.

In a separate video address released early Saturday, Mr. Zelensky decried what he said was the abduction by Russian forces of the mayor of the southern city of Melitopol, who had refused to cooperate with occupying troops and continued to display a Ukrainian flag in his office .

Write to Alan Cullison at alan.cullison@wsj.com and Brett Forrest at brett.forrest@wsj.com

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