Yavoriv military base

military facility in Ukraine

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Yavoriv military base
Yavoriv, Lviv Oblast in Ukraine
Яворовский полигон 1.jpg
A checkpoint at the Yavoriv facility
Yavoriv military base is located in Ukraine
Yavoriv military base
Yavoriv military base
Coordinates50°00′24.1″N 23°30′02.3″E / 50.006694°N 23.500639°E / 50.006694; 23.500639
Area39,000 hectares (390 km2)
Site information
OwnerMinistry of Defence (Ukraine)
Site history
Battles/wars2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

The Yavoriv military base is a Ukrainian (Armed Forces of Ukraine) and Russian (Strategic Rocket Forces) military training facility in western Ukraine, in the city of Yavoriv, some 10 km from the border with Poland and 30 kilometers northwest of Lviv in Yavoriv district. The facility houses an International Center for Peacekeeping and Security within the framework of the Ukraine–NATO Partnership for Peace program and the National Military Academy Hetman Petro Sahaidatschnyj. The base covers an area of around 390 sq km (151 sq miles) and can accommodate up to 1,790 people.[1][2] The course covers an area of 36,153 hectares; until the creation of the Yavoriv National Park, it was 42,000 hectares in size.[3]

View of the landscape in 2008

History

The Yavoriv military training area was founded in 1940. A former military training area of the Polish army was used, which had existed here before the Soviet occupation of eastern Poland in 1939 and the Soviet annexation of western Ukraine. On February 13, 1940, the USSR passed a resolution on the evacuation of 30 villages, the area of which was needed for the expansion of the square.[4][need quotation to verify]

A total of 125,000 people were forcibly resettled from the area, and 170 villages and hamlets became deserts. The inhabitants were taken to southern Bessarabia to villages that had recently become free during the resettlement of Bessarabian Germans to the German Reich.

From 1941 to 1944, the area was used by the German Wehrmacht as a military training area in Galicia named Truppenübungsplatz Galizien. Later, the Red Army used the area again and from 1991 the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Today, joint exercises with NATO forces are also being carried out on the square.

2022 Russian attack

During the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Yavoriv military facility was hit by a Russian missile strike early on 13 March 2022. According to Ukrainian officials, 30 rockets were fired at the base, killing 35 and injuring 134 others.[2][5] Ukrainian officials also reported that as many as 1000 foreign fighters had been training at the base as part of the Ukrainian Foreign Legion.[6] The Russian Ministry of Defence announced that it had destroyed "up to 180 foreign mercenaries and a large consignment of foreign weapons" and said that Russia would continue attacks on foreign fighters in Ukraine; the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence said that it had not confirmed any foreigners among the dead.[7] On 14 March, British newspaper The Mirror said that at least three British ex-special forces may have been killed in the strikes, with the total amount of dead volunteers potentially surpassing one hundred.[8][9]

Ukraine's Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov described the strike as an "terrorist attack on peace and security near the EU-Nato border".[2] A NATO official stated that there was no NATO personnel at the base, as all personnel had left the country prior to the invasion.[10]

References

  1. ^ "Ukrainian PfP Training Centre" (PDF). NATO. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "Ukraine war: Missiles hit military site near western city of Lviv". BBC News. 13 March 2022. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  3. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20131004213943/http://portal.lviv.ua/news/2005/06/01/102553.html
  4. ^ "Партизанськими дорогами з командиром "Залізняком"" (in Russian). 2012-03-17. Archived from the original on 2013-11-12. Retrieved 2022-03-13.
  5. ^ "Ukraine war: Missiles hit military site near western city of Lviv". BBC News. 13 March 2022. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  6. ^ Ramzy, Austin (13 March 2022). "The base attacked in western Ukraine has been a hub for foreign militaries". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  7. ^ Krever, Mick (13 March 2022). "Ukraine denies Russia's claims it has killed up to 180 foreign mercenaries during strike on Yavoriv military base". CNN. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  8. ^ Hughes, Chris; Thornton, Lucy (14 March 2022). "Three British ex-special forces troops feared dead in Russian attack near Polish border". The Daily Mirror. Retrieved 15 March 2022.
  9. ^ Gregory, Andy; Batchelor, Tom (15 March 2022). "Fears three British ex-special forces troops killed by Russian attack in Ukraine". The Independent. Retrieved 15 March 2022.
  10. ^ Bloodied but alive after Russian air strike in western Ukraine, Reuters
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