At least 18 people were killed and 59 injured in a Russian missile attack on a shopping mall in the Kremenchuk region of Ukraine. In a statement, the Group of Seven leaders, who are currently attending the summit in Germany, condemned the ‘abominable attacks’ and promised that Russian President Vladimir Putin and all those responsible for the attack would be held accountable.
Response of the G7
The statement by the G7 denounced these “indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians” as a war crime. The G7 unveiled plans to seek new sanctions on Russia, including a price cap on oil and higher tariffs on goods. On Sunday, the G7 announced plans to stop imports of Russian gold.
“We stand united with Ukraine in mourning the innocent victims of this brutal attack,” they wrote in a joint statement tweeted by the German government spokesperson.
The G7 leaders said they will continue to provide financial, humanitarian as well as military support to Ukraine for as long as it takes. “We will not rest until Russia ends its cruel and senseless war on Ukraine,” they underlined in their statement.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Message
In a scathing broadcast posted on Telegram, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of deliberately targeting innocent civilians, calling the attack “one of the most brazen terrorist acts in European history”.
Ukraine’s air force command said the mall was hit by two long-range X-22 missiles fired from Tu-22M3 bombers that flew from Shaykovka airfield in Russia’s Kaluga region.
Russia Defends Itself
Meanwhile, the Russian defence ministry denies the accusations, saying it had fired missiles at a weapons depot in Kremenchuk, and the consequential explosion triggered a fire in the nearby mall.
Earlier on Tuesday Russia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyanskiy, wrote on Twitter, without citing evidence, that the attack was a “Ukrainian provocation”. As police carried away a victim of the latest strike on Monday morning, one officer asked a colleague: “Not at night, but in the daytime — how much more can we take?”
Role of NATO
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 member states. NATO’s goal is to guarantee the security and freedom of its members through political and military means. It aims to protect the world’s democracies from threats.
The United States plans to send sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine, according to National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. The summit of the G7 ends on Tuesday and will be immediately followed by a NATO meeting in Spain. Ukraine is again expected to dominate the agenda.