By Tom Ozimek and Ivan Pentchoukov
LVIV, Ukraine—Powerful explosions rocked Lviv, in western Ukraine, on Saturday, creating plumes of thick black smoke and causing at least five injuries, according to Ukrainian officials, with the air attack on the city coming as President Joe Biden was on a state visit to neighboring Poland.
Maksym Kozytskyy, the governor of Lviv, confirmed “three powerful explosions” caused by what he said were two missile strikes at around 4:30 p.m. local time.
He said preliminary reports indicate five people had been injured, while urging residents to remain calm and seek shelter.
The explosions sent plumes of smoke into the sky in the northeastern part of Lviv and triggered air raid sirens, according to Epoch Times journalists, who could not immediately verify the cause.Play Video
Locals said that a large fuel storage depot had been struck, with the amount of smoke suggesting that it was something with a massive amount of combustible material.
Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyy later confirmed that a fuel storage facility had been hit and that no residential buildings had been damaged.
Emergency crews responded to the scene as a fire burned and smoke billowed.
Ukrainian Member of Parliament Lesia Vasylenko said in a tweet that multiple Russian rockets hit a “big commodities supermarket” and that civilian casualties were likely.
Unconfirmed footage posted on social media showed what appeared to be a cruise missile in the air above Lviv.Play Video
Lviv is around 50 miles from the border with Poland, where Biden is on a state visit to reassure NATO allies that the United States stands ready to defend any Russian attacks on NATO territory.
The president on Saturday met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov in the Polish capital Warsaw in his first face-to-face meeting with top Ukrainian officials since the start of the war.
“Your freedom is ours,” Biden told Poland’s President Andrzej Duda earlier, echoing one of that country’s unofficial mottos.
At the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, the two leaders spoke of their mutual respect and shared goals to end the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“Although times are very difficult, today Polish-American relations are flourishing,” Duda said.
Biden called the “collective defense” agreement of NATO a “sacred commitment,” and said the unity of the Western military alliance was of the utmost importance.
Before leaving Poland, Biden is scheduled to deliver an address expected to focus on the difficult path ahead as U.S. and Western allies continue to assist Ukraine and prod Russia to end its invasion.
More than 3.7 million people have fled Ukraine since the war began, and more than 2.2 million Ukrainians have crossed into Poland.
Intense fighting was reported in a number of locations in Ukraine on Saturday, suggesting there would be no swift let-up in the conflict.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.