A woman reacts in front of a house that was damaged in an aerial bombing in the city of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv  (AFP or licensors)

By Stefan J. Bos

Mar 14 2022

The war in Ukraine iss brought to the doorstep of the NATO military alliance Sunday with officials saying dozens of people were killed as Russia fired missiles at an army base near the border of NATO member Poland.

At least 35 people died when Russia fired up to 30 rockets at the military site near the border with Poland killing at least 35 people, Ukraine’s government said. Some 134 victims were injured in the attack on the Yavoriv base, which was for military training with NATO instructors, according to authorities. Footage showed people hiding in a nearby bomb shelter as the attack occurred. 

Sunday’s missile strike threatened to rapidly internationalize the conflict amid mounting concerns in the region it could lead to World War Three. An airport near the western city of Ivano-Frankivsk was hit, officials said. 

The middle strikes added to the massive human suffering in Ukraine, with Russian forces also moving closer to the capital Kyiv. Yet, in defiance, footage has emerged of the Ukrainian national orchestra played on the streets in Kyiv, hoping that peace will prevail in the capital and beyond. 

But Ukraine’s government said Russian troops soon fired on a convoy of women and children evacuating a village near Kyiv, killing seven. Moscow has yet to comment on the allegations. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also stressed that 1,300 Ukrainian troops have died in the conflict so far. And U.S. and Ukrainian authorities claim that thousands of Russian troops have been killed, though Moscow has acknowledged hundreds of casualties. 

Food and water shortages

As clashes intensify, residents in besieged cities such as Mariupol endure freezing temperatures with no power and little food and water. Video footage showed damage to the children’s hospital, where children and women in labor were reportedly among the injured following last week’s attack on the facility. 

Authorities have advised locals not to bury those who die but to put their human remains on the streets, residents from the area say. It is dangerous to provide proper funerals for the many victims amid ongoing shelling. 

Journalists trying to cover the conflict also mourn their dead: Ukrainian authorities said Sunday that Brent Renaud, an award-winning American filmmaker and journalist, was killed in Ukraine on Sunday while reporting in a suburb of the capital. The 50-year old Renaud had worked for several American news and media, including networks HBO and NBC and The New York Times newspaper. Ukrainian authorities said he was killed in Irpin, a suburb that has been the site of intense shelling by Russian forces in recent days. 

The details of his death were not immediately apparent. Ukrainian officials said another journalist was wounded. Renaud is the first Western but at least the second journalist killed in the Ukraine war. 

As the Russian invasion expands, so does the number of people trying to escape Moscow’s advancing military might. More than 2.5 million people have now fled the conflict in Ukraine, and many more are on the way seeking refuge in neighboring nations

Most of them arrived in Poland on overcrowded trains. Among them Alina Sokur, an evacuee from Chernihiv in Ukraine. “I was really scared all the way. Because I heard that a lot of people got shot when they tried to leave the city, “the young woman said. “And Chernihiv is one the cities where there are massive shots, and it was really scary,” Sokur added. 

The Vatican and other countries have urged an end to this war. But Sunday’s Russian strikes even near Poland underscored concerns that the conflict will further escalate and the human suffering continues. – Vatican News