Ukraine Chernihiv bomb diffuse
'A moment of remarkable cool': Here's the moment two Ukrainians defuse a live Russian bomb
01:04 - Source: CNN
Kyiv, Ukraine CNN  — 

Russian forces launched multiple missile attacks on a wide range of targets across Ukraine in the early hours of Friday, striking airfields in the far west of the country and, for the first time, hitting the central city of Dnipro, to which Ukrainians from other embattled cities have fled.

The airport at Lutsk, some 70 miles from the Polish border, was reported to have suffered substantial damage in the attacks. The governor of Volyn region said four missiles had been fired from a Russian bomber and that two people were killed.

Plumes of smoke also rose from the military airfield at Ivano-Frankivsk, about 240 kilometers (150 miles) south of Lutsk. It was previously struck by missiles on the first day of the conflict.

“On the morning of March 11, high-precision long-range weapons attacked Ukraine’s military infrastructure. The military airfields in Lutsk and Ivano-Frankovsk were put out of action,” the Russian Defense Ministry said Friday.

Three Russian airstrikes also caused serious damage in and around the central city of Dnipro on Friday morning, killing one person, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine said in an official Telegram channel. One strike was near a preschool and an apartment building and another hit a shoe factory, causing a fire, the service said.

Many Ukrainians evacuated in recent days from other cities under Russian fire had been taken to the relative safety of Dnipro.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said Friday it remains “gravely concerned by the rising death toll and human suffering in Ukraine” and called “for an immediate end to the attacks.”

“Civilians are being killed and maimed in what appear to be indiscriminate attacks, with Russian forces using explosive weapons with wide area effects in or near populated areas,” OHCHR spokeswoman Liz Throssell said in a statement.

OHCHR said it has so far recorded 549 civilian deaths and 957 injuries since the invasion began on 24 February, “although the actual figure could be much higher.”

“Schools, hospitals, and kindergartens have been hit – with hugely devastating consequences,” Throssell said. On March 3, 47 civilians were killed when Russian airstrikes hit two schools and several apartment blocks in Chernihiv and on March 9, a Russian airstrike hit a Mariupol hospital, injuring at least 17 civilians, she said.

“We are still investigating reports that at least three civilians may have been killed in the airstrike,” she said. “We spoke to different sources in Mariupol, including local authorities, indicating consistently that the hospital was both clearly identifiable and operational when it was hit.”

Emergency workers tackle a fire in Dnipro, central Ukraine.

Throssell also said OHCHR has received “credible reports of several cases of Russian forces using cluster munitions, including in populated areas.” The use of cluster munitions in populated areas is “incompatible with the international humanitarian law,” she said.

Elsewhere, in the southern city of Mykolaiv, heavy shelling erupted on Friday evening.

Social media videos showed fires in the area and Vitaliy Kim, Head of Mykolaiv Region Administration, said that there were “active hostilities near Guryivka,” to the north of the city.

In a series of messages on his Telegram channel, Kim said the bombardment amounted to “indiscriminate shooting at civilian targets,” including a cafe and apartment block.

And in the southeastern city of Melitopol, Mayor Ivan Fedorov was seen on video being led away by armed men from a government building on Friday.

The prosecutor’s office for the separatist, Russian-backed Luhansk region now says they are weighing terrorism charges against him. Fedorov’s detention by the armed men is the first known instance of a Ukrainian political official being detained and investigated by Russian, or Russian-backed forces, since the invasion began.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry published a strongly worded statement on Facebook, calling Fedorov’s detention an “abduction” and a “war crime.”

Meanwhile the number of people who have fled Ukraine continues to rise.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said Friday that the number of people who have left the country has now hit 2.5 million.

Many others are still trapped in dire conditions as Russian forces bombard multiple cities. Ukrainian authorities said there was limited success Friday in securing the evacuation of civilians from areas worst affected by the fighting.

Resistance persists

In eastern Ukraine, there is growing evidence that the town of Volnovakha, has finally fallen to Russian forces and their allies in the so-called Donets