April 25, 2022
A Russian tactical nuclear warhead struck a Ukranian military installation, including soldier housing and an airfield near the city of Lviv. Satellite Images show the airfield has been completely destroyed along with all surrounding buildings, including some in the city of Lviv.
The Strike came on Saturday evening, as a “mushroom-cloud” could be seen emerging from the military base some 10 kilometers west of Lviv. According to reports, buildings in Lviv were knocked down. The city’s mayor commented “The destruction is massive.” The scope of the destruction is unclear, although Channel46 sources report that tens of buildings have been completely destroyed in the aftermath and many more damaged. Lviv is a city of nearly 500,000 people.
Russian news agency TASS reported that: “Russian forces employed a semi-nuclear device to immobilise Ukranian military capabilities. The city of Lviv was not affected.”
Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted on Instagram: “Russia has used nuclear weapons on the city of Lviv. This attack has caused major damage to the city including to civilians. Putin chose this because all his other means have been exhausted. Ukraine, however, will not give in, ever. We request NATO help, stop Russia, or the whole world will see what we see today.”
The White House published a statement in response to the attack: “This is an unprecedented and unacceptable escalation which puts the whole globe at risk.” The White house also called for calm, however, saying that the U.S. faces no threat at the moment. President Biden is expected to adress the nation tonight. NATO chief of command also tweeted: “shocking and unacceptable, Russia will be held accountable.” The United States joined a long list of 53 nations in severing diplomatic ties with Russia, closing its embassy in Moscow and expelling Russian diplomats from Washington D.C.
Chinese Government Spokesperson Wang Li commented: “We condemn Russia’s use of nuclear weapons, which is never the solution to issues. We request Russia halt the use of nuclear weapons and continue to urge both sides to exercise restraint.” This is the first Chinese statement condemning Russia since the beginning of the invasion.
This comes days after Putin declared in a fiery speech that “all options are on the table to stop Ukranian terrorism.” On Friday, the U.S. warned that intel showed Russia’s nuclear posture had changed in a “concerning way.” According to experts, The Russian army has been halted for several weeks due to heavy losses and poor morale.
U.S. Pentagon nuclear expert Marc Davis commented that “though the attack is focused on military infrastructure, civilian infrastructure was also damaged.”
The warhead used seems to have been relatively small but the radiation “will harm the citizens of Lviv,” according to British radiation expert John Ashton. The radiation could cause effects in neighbouring countries as well; the Polish, Lithuanian, Slovakian and Hungarian governments have all issued curfews for certain areas near the border and are “assesing the risk to citizens.”
“This attack seems to show that the Russians are not hesitant in their use of nuclear warheads, which is extremely worrisome, for not just Ukraine, not just Europe, but the entire world,” E.U president Ursula Von Der Layen commented.
The western response to the attack is unclear. According to political correspondent Jack McAuliffe “the west has few options left while avoiding all out conflict with Russia.”