What to know about Ukraine’s Lviv, a relative haven hit by deadly strikes

People arrive at the main train station in Lviv, Ukraine, from Dnipro on March 27. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Ukrainian officials say seven people were killed Monday when apparent Russian airstrikes struck Lviv — the largest city in western Ukraine and one that has been spared the worst of the war’s violence.

The attack marked the first deaths in the city itself, but in March, when two Russian missiles struck Lviv, alarm bells went off — in part because at the time, President Biden was some 250 miles away on a visit to Poland.

In the nearly two months since Russia invaded Ukraine, the relatively safe city near the Polish border has been transformed into a hub for diplomats and international aid agencies. It’s become a destination for many of the millions of Ukrainians displaced from their homes and a transit point for many of the roughly 4.5 million Ukrainians, mainly women and children, made refugees by the war.

Rockets strike Lviv, indicating Russia’s unrelenting barrage

Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi said the March 26 strikes were Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attempt “to say hello” to Biden, who hours later forcefully condemned Putin in an address from Warsaw, Poland’s capital.

As the assault on Ukraine grinds on, here’s what to know about Lviv, the city that’s become a pillar of support and refuge for a country at war.