Deadly missile strike hits Lviv as Russia bombards multiple Ukrainian cities

ITV News Correspondent Peter Smith has the latest on the Russian invasion of Ukraine

A deadly missile strike struck the western Ukrainian city of Lviv early Monday morning.

Authorities say at least seven people have been killed and another 12, including a child, have been injured.

Lviv Regional Governor Maksym Kozytskyy said there were four Russian missile strikes, three of which hit military infrastructure facilities and one struck a tire shop. He said emergency teams were putting out fires caused by the strikes.

The strikes hit near railway facilities, according to officials. Transport hubs in Lviv have been key to evacuating Ukrainians fleeing the war.

One Ukrainian MP tweeted an image, purportedly from Lviv, showing a fire and billowing smoke, claiming a train station and storage units were targeted.

Ukraine is bracing for an all-out Russian assault in the east, as invading forces battered various parts of the country overnight.

Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, was also hit by shelling Monday that killed at least three people.

One of the dead was a woman who appeared to be going out to collect water in the rain. She was found lying with a water canister and an umbrella by her side.Explosions were also reported in Kramatorsk - the eastern city where rockets earlier this month killed at least 57 people at a train station crowded civilians evacuating.

After the humiliating sinking of the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet last week (in what the Ukrainians boasted was a missile attack) the Kremlin vowed to step up strikes on the capital.

Ukraine is still figuring out its losses from Monday's strikes, ITV News Correspondent Peter Smith reports

Meanwhile Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has vowed to “fight absolutely to the end” in Mariupol where the ruined port city’s last known pocket of resistance was holed up in a sprawling steel plant laced with tunnels.

With missiles and rockets battering various parts of the country, President Zelenskyy accused Russian soldiers of torture and kidnappings in areas they control.

The fall of Mariupol, which has been reduced to rubble in a seven-week siege, would give Moscow its biggest victory of the war.

But a few thousand fighters, by Russia's estimate, are still holding on to the Azovstal steel mill.

A local resident stands behind a part of the steel works in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces in Mariupol. Credit: AP

Many Mariupol civilians, including children, are also sheltering at the Azovstal plant, Mikhail Vershinin, head of the city’s patrol police, told Mariupol television.

He said they are hiding from Russian shelling and from Russian soldiers.

Capturing the city on the Sea of Azov would free Russian troops for a new offensive to take control of the Donbas region in Ukraine's industrial east.

Russia also would fully secure a land corridor to the Crimean Peninsula, which it seized from Ukraine in 2014, depriving Ukraine of a major port and prized industrial assets.

Russia is bent on capturing the Donbas, where Moscow-backed separatists already control some territory, after its attempt to take the capital, Kyiv, failed.

“We are doing everything to ensure the defence” of eastern Ukraine, Zelenskyy said in his nightly address to the nation.

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The relentless bombardment and street fighting in Mariupol has killed at least 21,000 people, by Ukrainian estimates.

A maternity hospital was hit by a lethal Russian airstrike in the opening weeks of the war, and about 300 people were reported killed in the bombing of a theatre where civilians had taken shelter.

An estimated 100,000 people remained in the city out of a pre-war population of 450,000, trapped without food, water, heat or electricity.

Drone footage carried by the Russian news agency RIA-Novosti on Sunday showed mile after mile of shattered buildings and, on the city's outskirts, the steel complex, from which rose towering plumes of smoke.

A building damaged during fighting in Mariupol, Ukraine. Credit: AP

Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar described Mariupol as a “shield defending Ukraine.”

The looming offensive in the east, if successful, would give Russian President Vladimir Putin a badly needed victory to sell to the Russian people amid the war’s mounting casualties and the economic hardship caused by Western sanctions.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, who met with President Putin in Moscow this past week, the first European leader to do so since the invasion began, said the Russian president is “in his own war logic” on Ukraine.