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Russian Missiles Strike Near Lviv Airport, Survivors Emerge From Mariupol Theater

A cloud of smoke rises after an explosion in Lviv, western Ukraine, March 18, 2022.
A cloud of smoke rises after an explosion in Lviv, western Ukraine, March 18, 2022.

Several Russian missiles were targeted at a western Ukrainian area near Lviv’s airport Friday.

The airport was not hit, according the Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovy, but an aircraft repair facility was.

There were no immediate reports of casualties from the attack near Lviv, which is about 80 kilometers from Ukraine’s border with Poland.

A large cloud of smoke could be seen in the area surrounding the airport.

Meanwhile, in Mariupol, survivors have begun to emerge from a theater in Mariupol that was hit by Russian missiles Wednesday.

Hundreds of people, including children, are believed to have taken refuge in The Drama Theater.

Satellite images of the site released by the Maxar space technology company showed the word "children" written in Russian on the pavement outside the theater as recently as Monday.

It is not yet clear how many people survived the attack.

Biden to speak with Xi

U.S. President Joe Biden has scheduled a rare telephone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping Friday, a high-stakes conversation as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asks the world for help fighting against a three-week Russian invasion.

China has played an increasingly important role in the conflict amid reports that Russia asked China for military assistance. The United States is providing the bulk of military assistance to Ukraine, with Biden announcing another $800 million defense package this week.

"We have made clear our deep concerns about China's alignment with Russia and the potential implications and consequences of that," said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Friday's call, she said, "is an opportunity for President Biden to assess where President Xi stands. There's been, of course, rhetorical support — or the absence of clear rhetoric and denunciation, or the absence of denunciation — by China of what Russia is doing. This flies in the face, of course, of everything China stands for, including the basic principles of the U.N. Charter, including the basic principles of respect for sovereignty of nations. And so the fact that China has not denounced what Russia is doing in and of itself speaks volumes."