Ukraine’s president has said “it’s only a matter of time” before Russia missiles hit the homes of people in NATO countries if a no-fly zone is not set up.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy issued the warning after more than 30 Russian missiles hit a base about 12 miles from the Polish border – and attacks continued across the country.
Thirty-five people were killed and 134 injured in Sunday’s strike in Yavoriv, which has long been used by Western experts to train Ukrainian soldiers.
Zelenskyy: ‘Only a matter of time before Russian missiles fall on your territory’
It came after Russia said Western military aid convoys – which mostly come via Poland – are now considered legitimate targets.
Ukraine live updates
“Nothing was happening there that could threaten the territory of the Russian Federation,” said President Zelenskyy about the base attack.
The attack on the Yavoriv base is close to Ukraine’s border with NATO member Poland
“And only 20 kilometres away are NATO borders. Last year, I made a clear warning to NATO leaders that if there were no tough preventive sanctions against Russia, it would start a war. We were right.”
Poland’s deputy foreign minister told Sky News the attack was “highly proactive” and that Russia knows very well where the border is.
President Zelenskyy also used his Sunday message to repeat his plea for Western airpower.
“If you do not close our sky, it is only a matter of time before Russian missiles fall on your territory. NATO territory. On the homes of citizens of NATO countries,” he said.
The US and UK have ruled it out, saying it would mean shooting down Russian planes and could trigger a world war.
A soldier in the besieged city of Mariupol on 12 March. Pic: AP
In other developments
China will ‘absolutely’ face consequences
NATO will respond with “full force” if Russian attacks stray into member countries, the US national security adviser warned on Sunday.
Jake Sullivan also said China would “absolutely” face consequences if it helps Russia evade sanctions.
US officials – speaking anonymously – have said Russia has asked China for support, including military equipment.
Zelenskyy visits wounded soldiers
“We are communicating directly, privately to Beijing, that there will absolutely be consequences for large-scale sanctions evasion efforts or support to Russia to backfill them,” Mr Sullivan told CNN.
China’s US embassy said it could not confirm the reports but reiterated it supported “all efforts that are conducive to a peaceful settlement”.
Mr Sullivan is set to meet China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, in Rome later today.
Russia’s bombardment of Ukrainian cities continued over the weekend, with nine killed in bombings the southern city of Mykolaiv, according to authorities.
A monastery and children’s resort were also said to have been hit by airstrikes in the eastern Donetsk region, wounding 32 people.
American journalist shot dead
US journalist and filmmaker Brent Renaud was shot dead in Irpin, near Kyiv, while working for Time magazine. A photographer who was with him was injured.
Juan Arredondo said he and Renaud were filming refugees when Russian soldiers opened fire on their car.
Journalist Brent Renaud was killed in Irpin, near Kyiv. Pic: AP
Time’s editor said the organisation was “devastated” and President Zelenskyy later called it a “deliberate attack by the Russian military”.
In Chernihiv, northeast of the capital, heavy shelling has continued, and Kyiv’s air raid sirens again rang out as authorities there continue to prepare for an expected major attack.
Meanwhile, 2,187 people in the besieged southern city of Mariupol have now died, according to the city council.
Drone video from the city showed the aftermath of an attack on Russian vehicles on Sunday, according to AZOV Mariupol – a unit of Ukraine’s national guard which uploaded the clip.
Drone ‘shows aftermath of attack on Russians in Mariupol’
Russian navy ‘blockades’ Black Sea coast
President Zelenskyy said a humanitarian corridor to allow people to leave Mariupol had again been blocked on Sunday because of shelling – but that more than 130,000 people had escaped in six days via various escape routes in Ukraine.
Food and water are running out and some people are being forced to melt snow to drink as the city endures shocking conditions.
Russia has pummelled Mariupol in what experts say is a bid to create a southern land corridor to Crimea, which it annexed in 2014.
Moscow’s navy has also established a “distant blockade” of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast, “effectively isolating Ukraine from international maritime trade”, the UK’s Ministry of Defence tweeted on Sunday night.
It said one amphibious landing had already taken place and more could be planned in the weeks ahead.