Waves of Russian missiles pounded a military training base close to Ukraine’s border with Poland on Sunday, killing 35 people.
The attack followed Russian threats to target foreign weapons shipments that are helping Ukrainian fighters defend their country against Russia’s invasion.
More than 30 Russian cruise missiles targeted the sprawling training facility that is less than 15 miles (25km) from the closest border point with Poland, according to the governor of Ukraine’s western Lviv region. Poland, a member of Nato, is a transit route for Western military aid to Ukraine, and the United States has increased the number of America troops deployed there.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, Lviv had largely been spared the scale of destruction unfolding further east and become a destination for residents escaping bombarded cities and for many of the nearly 2.6 million refugees who have fled the country.
The training centre in Yavoriv appears to be the most westward target struck so far in the 18-day invasion.
The facility, also known as the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre, has long been used to train Ukrainian military personnel, often with instructors from the United States and other Nato countries.
It has also hosted international Nato drills. As such, the site symbolises what has long been a Russian complaint: that the alliance of 30 countries is moving ever closer to Russia’s borders. Russia has demanded that Ukraine drop its ambitions to join Nato.
Lviv governor Maksym Kozytskyi said most of the missiles fired on Sunday “were shot down because the air defence system worked”. The ones that got through killed at least 35 people and injured 134 others, he said.
Nato said on Sunday that it did not currently have any personnel in Ukraine.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Russia would face a response from Nato should any of its attacks in Ukraine cross borders and hit members of the security alliance.
Mr Sullivan told CBS News that US president Joe Biden “has been clear repeatedly that the United States will work with our allies to defend every inch of Nato territory and that means every inch”.
Mr Sullivan said a military attack on Nato territory would cause the invocation of Article 5 which required other countries in Nato to come to the defence of the attacked nation.
Mr Sullivan said: “We will bring the full force of the Nato alliance to bear in responding.”
He added that Nato would respond even if a shot by Russia that hit Nato territory was accidental.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian and European leaders have pushed with limited success for Russia to grant safe passage to civilians trapped by fighting.
Ukrainian authorities said more than 10 humanitarian corridors would open on Sunday, with agreement from Russia, including from the battered and besieged port city of Mariupol, where authorities say 2,187 people have been killed.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address that a convoy carrying 100 tons of humanitarian aid was on its way to Mariupol, and all necessary diplomatic efforts had been taken to make sure it reached those in need.
Capturing Mariupol and other ports on the Azov Sea could allow Russia to establish a land corridor to Crimea, which Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014.
Ukrainian officials have accused Russia of failing to honour previous pledges to withhold fire along temporary evacuation routes.
Mr Zelensky said Ukrainian authorities had still managed to evacuate nearly 125,000 people from areas where hostilities were ongoing.
But continued fighting on multiple fronts heaped further misery on the country on Sunday.
In the southern city of Mykolaiv, near the Black Sea, authorities reported nine more people had been killed in bombings.
Russian forces advancing from Crimea were attempting to circumvent Mykolaiv on what appeared to be a westward push towards the Black Sea port of Odesa, Britain’s Ministry of Defence said.
Russian fighters also fired at the airport in the western city of Ivano-Frankivsk, 155 miles (250km) from Ukraine’s border with Slovakia and Hungary, an attack the city’s mayor said was intended “to sow panic and fear”.
The airport, which includes a military airfield as well as a runway for civilian flights, was also targeted on Friday.
Ukrainian authorities said Russian air strikes on a monastery and a children’s resort in the eastern Donetsk region hit places where monks and refugees were sheltering, injuring 32 people.
Another air strike hit a westward-bound train evacuating people from the east, killing one person and wounding another, Donetsk’s chief regional administrator said.
To the north, in the city of Chernihiv, one person was killed and another injured in a Russian air strike that destroyed a residential block, emergency services said.
Around the capital, Kyiv, a major political and strategic target for the invasion, fighting also intensified, with overnight shelling in the north-western suburbs and a missile strike on Sunday that destroyed a warehouse to the east.
Chief regional administrator Oleksiy Kuleba said Russian forces appeared to be trying to blockade and paralyse the capital with day and night shelling of the suburbs.
He said Russian agents are operating in the capital and its suburbs, marking out possible future targets, but vowed that any all-out assault would meet stiff resistance, saying: “We’re getting ready to defend Kyiv, and we’re prepared to fight for ourselves.”
Talks aimed at reaching a ceasefire again failed on Saturday, and the US announced plans to provide another 200 million dollars to Ukraine for weapons.
Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov warned other nations that sending equipment to bolster Ukraine’s military is “an action that makes those convoys legitimate targets”.
Mr Zelensky accused Russia of trying to break his country apart, as well as starting “a new stage of terror” with the alleged detention of a mayor from a city west of Mariupol.
“Ukraine will stand this test. We need time and strength to break the war machine that has come to our land,” he said during his nightly address to the nation on Saturday.
Russian soldiers pillaged a humanitarian convoy that was trying to reach the battered and encircled port city of Mariupol, where more than 1,500 people have died, a Ukrainian official said.
Ukraine’s military said Russian forces had captured Mariupol’s eastern outskirts, tightening their siege of the strategic port.
Mr Zelensky encouraged his people to keep up their resistance.
“We do not have the right to let up our defence, no matter how difficult it may be,” he said.
Later on Saturday, he reported that 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers had died since the Russian invasion began on February 24.
The first major city to fall, earlier this month, was Kherson, a vital Black Sea port of 290,000 residents.
Mr Zelensky said Russians were using blackmail and bribery in an attempt to force local officials to form a “pseudo-republic” in the southern Kherson region, much like those in Donetsk and Luhansk, two eastern regions where pro-Russian separatists began fighting Ukrainian forces in 2014. One of the pretexts Russia used to invade was that it had to protect the separatist regions.
“Ukraine will stand this test. We need time and strength to break the war machine that has come to our land,” Mr Zelensky said during his nightly address to the nation on Saturday.
Mr Zelensky again deplored Nato’s refusal to declare a no-fly zone over Ukraine and said the country has sought ways to procure air defence assets, though he did not elaborate.
Nato has said that imposing a no-fly zone could lead to a wider war with Russia.
US President Joe Biden announced another 200 million dollars in aid to Ukraine, with an additional 13 billion dollars included in a Bill that has passed the House of Representatives and should clear the Senate within days.
Mr Zelensky also accused Russia of detaining the mayor of Melitopol, a city 119 miles (192km) west of Mariupol. The Ukrainian leader called on Russian forces to heed calls from demonstrators in the occupied city for the mayor’s release.
The Russian invaders appear to have struggled more than expected against determined Ukrainian fighters. But Russia’s stronger military threatens to grind Ukrainian forces down.
Mr Zelenskyy reported on Saturday that 1,300 Ukrainian soldiers had died since the Russian invasion began on February 24.
Russian forces had hit at least two dozen hospitals and medical facilities, according to the World Health Organisation.
Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office said on Sunday that at least 85 children had been killed in the Russian offensive and more than 100 wounded.
The United Nations has said the fighting has displaced millions of Ukrainians within the country in addition to the millions who have left.