G7 vows to keep pressure on Russia after missile attack on Ukraine shopping mall world News

Russian missiles struck a crowded shopping mall in central Ukraine on Monday, President Volodymyr Zelensky said, as Moscow battles for control of a major eastern city and western leaders “as long as it takes”. Promises to support Kyiv in the war.

Zelensky wrote on Telegram that more than 1,000 people were inside when two Russian missiles hit the mall in the city of Kremenchuk, southeast of Kyiv. Ukrainian officials said at least 13 people were killed and 50 were injured. Rescuers sifted through damaged metal and debris for no survivors.

“This is not an accidental hit, it is a planned Russian attack on this shopping center,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in the evening’s video address. He said the death toll could rise.

Russia did not comment on the strike, which was condemned by the United Nations and Ukraine’s western allies. But its deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyansky, accused Ukraine of using the incident to gain sympathy ahead of the June 28-30 summit of the NATO military alliance.

“Wait for our Defense Ministry to say, but there are already too many discrepancies,” Polinsky wrote on Twitter.

As night fell in Kremenchuk, firefighters and soldiers brought in lights and generators to continue the search. Family members, some close to tears and with their hands over their faces, stood across the street in a hotel where rescue workers had set up a base.

Kirill Zebolovsky, 24, was looking for his friend Ruslan, 22, who worked at the Comfy electronics store, and had not been found since the explosion.

“We sent him messages, called, but nothing,” he said. In case his friend was found, he left his name and phone number with the rescuers.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the attack was “condemning”. Leaders of the Group of Seven major democracies, who gathered for their annual summit in Germany, condemned the “disgusting” attack.

“We stand united with Ukraine in mourning the innocent victims of this brutal attack,” he wrote in a joint statement tweeted by a German government spokesman. “Russian President Putin and those responsible will be held accountable.”

Elsewhere on the battlefield, Ukraine faced another difficult day following the loss of the now ruined city of Svyarodonetsk after weeks of bombing and street fighting.

Russian artillery was pounding his twin Lisichansk across the Siversky Donets River. Lysychansk is the last major city still occupied by Ukraine in eastern Luhansk province, a main target for the Kremlin after Russian troops failed to take the capital Kyiv at the start of the war.

The region’s regional governor, Serhi Gaidai, said a Russian missile strike in Lisichansk on Monday killed eight people and wounded 21. There was no immediate Russian comment.

Ukraine’s military said Russian forces were trying to cut off Lisichansk from the south. Reuters could not confirm Russian reports that Moscow troops had already entered the city.

‘Take as much time as you want’

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, in what the Kremlin called a “special military operation” to rid the country of far-right nationalists and ensure Russian security. The war killed thousands, sent millions of people to flee and ruined cities.

During their summit in Germany, G7 leaders, including US President Joe Biden, said they would keep sanctions on Russia as long as necessary and intensify international pressure on President Vladimir Putin’s government and its ally Belarus.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the BBC: “Imagine if we allowed Putin to walk away from another country, a violent takeover of large parts of sovereign, independent territory.”

The United States said it was finalizing another weapons package for Ukraine that would include a long-range air-defense system – the weapon that Zelensky specifically requested when he told leaders by video link on Monday. was addressed.

US and European officials said Zelensky again asked for more weapons in his address to G-7 leaders. He requested help to export grain from Ukraine and more sanctions on Russia.

The G7 nations pledged to further squeeze Russia’s finances – including a deal to slash the price of Russian oil, which a US official called “closer” – and pledged up to $29.5 billion to Ukraine .

“We will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic assistance and stand by Ukraine as long as it takes time,” a G7 statement said.

The White House said Russia defaulted on its external debt for the first time in more than a century as sweeping sanctions effectively cut the country off the global financial system.

Russia rejected the claims, asking investors to turn to Western financial agents for cash, but bondholders did not receive.

The war has created difficulties for countries beyond Europe’s borders, hampering food and energy exports, affecting the global economy.

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