Until Sunday morning, the Lviv region in western Ukraine was a safe haven in a war-torn country.
That’s where families living further east have sent their children to keep them safe.
Vasyl Kunets, a driver who lives in Novoyavorivsk, a town about 20 kilometers from Lviv, said that until now, when the sirens signal the possibility of an air strike, he is not too worried. He’ll get there safely, but maybe not as quickly as he should.
War is far away.
All that changed when Russian air strikes hit the Yavoriv military training ground on the edge of Novoyavorivsk and killed 35 people, the Lviv regional government said on Sunday.
Maksym Kozytsky, head of the Lviv regional military administration, said that more than 30 missiles from warplanes over the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov hit the military base.
Suddenly, war is on the Kunets’ doorstep.
Training facilities are intertwined with life in the city. Many of its residents are employed there, or in the services that support it. People who don’t work for it directly know someone who does.
The Kunets saw the damage they caused from the start.
“I saw when the rocket hit the ground, I saw explosions and smoke, a mushroom cloud of smoke and fire,” he told CNN.
“It lasted 30 minutes and I heard there could have been eight attacks, maybe several rockets fell or part of the missile exploded individually, I don’t know.”
Kunets told CNN that the attack on the base “changed everything.”
“We’re worried right now. I’m not worried for myself but for my children. People are worried for the safety of their families and some of them are considering moving elsewhere.” , I said.
Kunets said he is now thinking about sending his two children out of Ukraine – something he didn’t necessarily consider before.
“Feeling less safe and more dangerous. Yesterday and the day before, we felt more comfortable and when we heard the alarm we weren’t moving so fast so we didn’t take it too seriously. But today Now we’re packing and getting ready to leave very quickly when we hear the alarm,” he said.
CNN’s Sofiya Harbuziuk contributed reporting to this post.