In a likely 'message' and warning to NATO, Russia's air force is attacking locations in the far west of Ukraine - some of them for the first time since the invasion began on Feb.24.
Ukraine's government on Friday is saying that explosions rocked Lutsk, near the Polish border, as well as a military airfield at Ivano-Frankivsk in western Ukraine, which was struck by multiple missiles. Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson described it a "possible message to NATO" as calls from Western officials to impose a no-fly zone, including among hawks in Congress, grow louder.
As the West dithers about sending fighter jets to Ukraine, Russian forces strike two airports in Western Ukraine in possible message to NATO. Targets in Lutsk, Ivano-Frankivsk <100 miles from Lviv. Both hit on first night of war as well.— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) March 11, 2022
The Russian Defense Ministry in a Friday statement confirmed the reports, saying, "high-precision long-range weapons attacked Ukraine's military infrastructure."
"The military airfields in Lutsk and Ivano-Frankovsk were put out of action," the Russian Defense Ministry statement continued.
According to CNN, based on local Ukrainian government authorities:
There was substantial damage to the airport at Lutsk in northwestern Ukraine, which is only about 70 miles from the Polish border. The governor of the Volyn region said four missiles had been fired from a Russian bomber and two people were killed. Plumes of smoke also rose from the military airfield at Ivano-Frankivsk in western Ukraine, which was struck by missiles.
There is also widespread reporting that the previous huge, miles-long Russian tank and armored column that had been stalled while en route to Kiev has now advanced, reaching to within a few miles of the capital.
This has resulted in intensified fighting in the suburbs, particularly to the northeast and east of Kiev.
NATO has continued sending additional forces to Eastern Europe...
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday hailed that resistance by his forces have caused "a strategic turning point" in the conflict.
“It’s impossible to say how many days we will still need to free our land, but it is possible to say that we will do it because... we have reached a strategic turning point," he said, but didn't explain further.
The remarks came as Russia's Vladimir Putin on Friday seemed to change his tone, saying "certain positive shifts" had come out of Russia's latest talk with the Ukrainian delegation.