Russia airstrike hits just 12 miles from Nato border killing 9 at base where foreign instructors are helping Ukrainians

AT least nine people have been killed in a Russian airstrike at a base where foreign instructors where helping Ukrainians just 12 miles from the Polish border.  

Russian forces fired more than 30 cruise missiles at the Yavoriv military base near Lviv, injuring 57 people, according to Ukrainian authorities as Kyiv warns Vladimir Putin could start "provoking" Nato countries.

Foreign military instructors have worked at the Yavoriv International Center for Peacekeeping and Security – but it's not yet clear if any were present at the time.

Regional governor Maksym Kozytskyy said Russian planes fired around 30 rockets at the facility, adding that some were intercepted before they hit.

Witnesses reported seeing 19 ambulances with sirens on driving from the base's direction following the strike as black smoke rose from the area.

The military training facility – the biggest in the western part of the country and traditionally the site of joint drills with Nato – is located just 12 miles from the Polish border.

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"Poland condemns any element of aggression against Ukraine, including shelling of the Yavoriv base," a Polish foreign ministry spokesman said in a message sent to Reuters.

On Saturday, a senior Moscow diplomat warned Russia could target Western shipments of military equipment to Ukraine.

The mayor of another city in western Ukraine, Ivano-Frankivsk, said that Russian troops also continued to hit its airport on Sunday.

It comes as former Ukrainian national security chief Oleksandr Danylyuk said he fears Russia could start "doing some provocations" in Nato countries such as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania "very soon".

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When asked about shelling close to Ukraine's western border with Poland, he said Russia was attacking what it thought to be the possible location of "Western military technical aids".

"They believe that in (such a way) they could destroy or at least undermine that ammunition and military equipment supplies," he added.

"Again, it doesn't mean that they achieved their goal and the logistics of that Western aid is top secret, as you understand, but again, that was the idea.

"I think that it's also (a) very clear message from Moscow that they are ready to attack, you know, Nato troops engaged into that supplies to Ukraine."

He continued: "I'm afraid that because Russia obviously miscalculates the reaction of Ukrainians, and I believe the West as well, they can start doing some provocations in Nato countries, probably in countries like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, very soon."

As the war enters its 18th day, shelling continues to rain down across Ukraine as the Russian defence spokesman Igor Konashenkov claimed that 3,687 Ukrainian military facilities have been destroyed so far.

On Saturday, Russia bombarded cities across Ukraine, pounding Mariupol in the south, shelling the outskirts of the capital, Kyiv, and thwarting the efforts of people trying to flee the violence.

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An entire CITY of 21,000 people was destroyed in eastern Ukraine while Putin's troops were accused of gunning down fleeing women and children, killing seven.

The city and administrative centre of Volnovakha has been completely wiped out amid Russia's annihilation, its regional governor revealed – as the battle for Ukraine continues to get bloodier.

Russian-backed separatists claimed on Friday to have captured the strategic city, which is the same size as Truro in Cornwall.

Pavlo Kyrylenko, the governor of the Donetsk region, said most civilians in Volnovakha had escaped – but there was barely anything left of the city.

In Mariupol, which has endured some of the worst punishment since Russia invaded, efforts to bring food, water and medicine into the port city of 430,000 and to evacuate civilians, were prevented by unceasing attacks.

More than 1,500 people have died in Mariupol during the siege, according to the mayor's office, and the shelling has even interrupted efforts to bury the dead in mass graves.

Talks aimed at reaching a cease-fire again failed Saturday, and the U.S. announced plans to provide another $200million (£150million) to Ukraine for weapons

It comes as battle around the capital is raging on as Russian forces close in, with brave Ukrainian soldiers setting up tank traps on the streets to repel invaders.

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Putin's troops are inching closer and are believed to be just 15 miles from the city.

But Volodymyr Zelensky warned the Russians would only be able to take control of Kyiv if they "raze it to the ground" as the Ukrainian president confirmed around 1,300 of his troops had been killed since the conflict began.

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