Russia-Ukraine updates: G-7 nations pledge to support Ukraine; Russian missile hits Ukrainian shopping center
A Russian missile attacked a central shopping center in Ukraine. The latest G-7 meeting points to western unity and action against Russia
The G-7 conference, attended by an alliance of wealthy democratic nations, begins in Germany Tuesday with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the agenda, as the country continues to wage war while using hostile negotiation techniques.
Driving the news: A Russian missile hit a mall in a central Ukrainian city, an action denounced by the Ukrainian president and the U.S. secretary of state.
What they’re saying: “The Russian strike today on the shopping center in Kremenchuk is one of the most brazen terrorist acts in European history,” Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his evening broadcast, according to France 24.
- Zelenskyy said that more than 1,000 people were in the building at the time. “A peaceful town, an ordinary shopping centre — women, children, ordinary civilians inside,” he added.
- At least 13 people were killed in the attack, though it’s possible that the number could rise, according to BBC News.
- “The world is horrified by Russia’s missile strike today, which hit a crowded Ukrainian shopping mall,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, adding that the U.S. will continue supporting Ukraine, per BBC News.
State of play: President Joe Biden is in Germany for the G-7 meeting with leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S., along with European Union representatives. Per NPR, the issue of the Russian invasion of Ukraine will dominate the agenda.
In a strongly worded letter, published on Monday, the G-7 alliance reaffirmed its support for Ukraine and its people.
- “We will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support and stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes,” the letter read.
- “We remain appalled by and continue to condemn the brutal, unprovoked, unjustifiable and illegal war of aggression against Ukraine by Russia and aided by Belarus.”
- “We urgently call on Russia to cease, without condition, its attacks on agricultural and transport infrastructure and enable free passage of agricultural shipping from Ukrainian ports,” the G-7 statement added.
Yes, and: This news comes as Russia defaulted on its foreign debt for the first time since 1918, failing to pay an estimated $100 million in interest on two bonds, according to CNN. This could be an indication that the Western sanctions are weakening Russia.