On Tuesday multiple media correspondents reporting from the western Ukrainian city of Lviv said they heard several large blasts in the evening hours. It has since emerged that railway power substations are coming under attack, after the Kremlin last week indicated its military would ramp up efforts to thwart Western arms deliveries into Ukraine.
Ukrainian Railways has announced Tuesday night that a number of trains are delayed after the blasts. "In particular, trains have been detained at the entrance to Lviv, information is being updated," a statement from the rail authority quoted by CNN said. The attacks, which are being called the biggest cruise missile strikes on Lviv and perhaps across Ukraine since the war's start, have knocked out power and internet to parts of the city. Vital power and train stations have also been hit in other key areas of the country Tuesday night (local time).
Confirmed: An internet disruption has been registered in Lviv, western Ukraine, amid reports of explosions and power outages following a Russian missile strike; real-time network data show connectivity down to 87% https://t.co/VD8tMFSwEG via @netblocks pic.twitter.com/rUsWPdOyKo— Liveuamap (@Liveuamap) May 3, 2022
Traffic throughout the city also came to a halt, correspondents on the ground noted. Largescale strikes on Lviv have been a rarity throughout Russia's over 2-month long invasion, given the major Western city's distance from the frontlines of fighting, which remains in Donbas as well as to the south.
Whole sections of the city are also without power:
Lviv Mayor Andrii Sadovyi said that parts of the city are without power. Sadovyi also said that "as a result of the missile strikes, two power substations were damaged."
Explosions were reported in multiple locations across the city, including in positions south, east and west.
It's believed though unconfirmed that at least five cruise missiles slammed into Lviv - and there were many more across other parts of the country.
CNN correspondents are reporting:
Blasts heard in Lviv, Ukraine, coming from east, south and west of the city center. One site is close to the city center. From another, a huge plume of black smoke can be seen billowing across sky. All the lights across city appear to be out.
The Monday prior, Russian forces attacked at least six railway stations and facilities, some of them also near Lviv.
Multiple Russian cruise missile strikes on infrastructure targets across Ukraine tonight, parts of Lviv without power. Likely the biggest barrage since the beginning of the war.— Yaroslav Trofimov (@yarotrof) May 3, 2022
Ukraine's military command previously commented that targeting rails has been part of ongoing Russian efforts to completely disable the country's military transport infrastructure, specifically with an eye on foreign arms transfers as what the Kremlin previously dubbed "legitimate targets". Kiev and the UN have also condemned attacks on civilians and vital civilian transport at a time of unprecedented numbers of internally displaced war refugees.
A Ukrainian military statement published last week alerted the public that the Russians "are trying to destroy the supply routes of military-technical assistance from partner states. To do this, they focus strikes on railway junctions."
#Russia has hit an "infrastructure facility" in the mountains of Zakarpattia Oblast, the governor says. The 1st strike in the westernmost region.— Alexander Khrebet/Олександр Хребет (@AlexKhrebet) May 3, 2022
Tonight 🇷🇺 targeted railways system. I'm afraid, they hit the Beskydy Tunnel in the Carpathian between Zakarpattia and Lviv Oblasts. https://t.co/jbWkhY8rP0
The below video was reportedly taken days ago:
Man riding a train witnessed a Russian cruise missile attack on Fastiv 2 days ago.— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) May 1, 2022
After he started recording, a second missile hit close to the train.
Dramatic footage from an attack that could have killed dozens of passengers. pic.twitter.com/D4mCGcTuXm
And further attacks on railway and power infrastructure are being reported into the Tuesday night hours in various parts of the country.
🚨 Alert is over in Western Ukraine but not everywhere: Cherkasy, Kropyvnytskyi, Mikolaiv & Odesa in Central Ukraine, & Luhansk in the East, are still on high alert.— Emmanuelle Chaze (@EmmanuelleChaze) May 3, 2022
In Lviv, there are power & water outages in some parts of the city, officials say they're working on fixing it. pic.twitter.com/LxyZRKB0tb
A number of cities continue to be on high alert as the Russian military is apparently increasing its targeting of power and transport infrastructure sites.