Heroic Ukrainian firefighters staged a round-the-clock battle to halt a massive blaze at an industrial fuel dump after it was hit by Russian artillery.
Footage from the emergency workers in protective gear shows them tackling terrifying flames in the towering inferno during a 13-hour operation.
The blaze started at the fuel depot in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv at around 4.30pm on 26th March.
Ukrainian firefighters battled the fire until around 6.50am on 27th March.
State Emergency Service (SES) of Ukraine said in a statement on 28th March. “In Lviv, a fire was extinguished on the grounds of an industrial fuel storage company.
“Around 4.3opm on 26th March, a fire broke out in Lviv as a result of shelling on the grounds of one of the industrial fuel storage companies.
“At 5.02am on 27th March, the fire was contained. At 6.40am, it was extinguished.”
There are also new fears regarding the nuclear reactor Chernobyl, with Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk demanding that the United Nations’ Security Council immediately demilitarise the area, claiming on Sunday that Russian forces are threatening “not only Ukraine but also hundreds of millions of Europeans” by taking large quantities of old and poorly maintained artillery to the area.
NATO, the G7, and the European Union all met last week for emergency summits. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said: “we need to do more, and therefore we need to invest more.”
US President Joe Biden rallied support for Ukraine at a landmark speech given in Warsaw, Poland, during which he quoted Pope John Paul II, saying: “Never, ever give up hope, never doubt, never tire, never become discouraged. Be not afraid.”
He also said: “A dictator bent on rebuilding an empire will never erase a people’s love for liberty. Brutality will never grind down their will to be free. Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia – as free people refuse to live in a world of hopelessness and darkness.”
And then he caused controversy by saying: “For God’s, this man cannot remain in power.”
This was interpreted by many as a call for Vladimir Putin to be removed from office. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was quick to state that the White House was not actively seeking regime change in Moscow.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who has kept communication lines with Moscow open in a bid to broker a ceasefire, also distanced himself from the remarks, as did UK Secretary of State for Education Nadhim Zahawi on behalf of the UK government.