The devastating Russian strike against a shopping center in Kremenchuk on Monday, in central Ukraine, killed no less than eighteen civilians, according to a new report from the authorities issued on Tuesday. “My sincere condolences to the families and relatives. The rescuers continue to work,” said the acting head of the Poltava regional administration, Dmitry Lunin. There are also at least 59 injured, 25 of whom are hospitalized. Beyond this very heavy toll, this bombing calls out since it was triggered more than 200 kilometers from the front, in an area where thousands of Ukrainians have resumed the course of their lives.
In this city located 330 km southeast of kyiv, the place struck was “very busy”, recalled the local authorities. “Occupiers fired a missile at a shopping center where more than a thousand civilians were located. The shopping center is on fire and rescuers are fighting the fire,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Facebook on Monday morning.
It is “one of the most shameless terrorist acts in European history”, reacted the Ukrainian head of state, pointing to the Russian invader striking “a peaceful city, an ordinary shopping center, with inside women, children, civilians”. kyiv then called on the G7 to end the war. The discussion and economic partnership group of the seven largest economic powers reacted immediately in this wake.
“Indiscriminate attacks against innocent civilians constitute a war crime,” the G7 leaders said in the evening from their summit in southern Germany, in a statement that “solemnly condemns the heinous attack” in Kremenchuk and assures that Vladimir Putin will have to “account”. French President Emmanuel Macron denounced “absolute horror” and called on the Russian people to “see the truth” in the face. Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, reaffirmed his “determination” to provide assistance to Ukraine.
In New York, UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric also spoke. He recalled that the belligerents were bound by international law to “protect civilians and civilian infrastructure” and denounced this new strike which he considers “totally deplorable”. An emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on the latest Russian bombings against civilian targets is scheduled for Tuesday at 7 p.m., the Albanian presidency of the UN body told AFP.
A few hours after the announcement of the bombardment of Kremenchuk, the Ukrainian authorities alerted on another deadly Russian strike against civilians, in Lyssytchansk, a strategic pocket of Ukrainian resistance in the Donbass basin, in the east of the country. Lyssychansk being the last major city to be conquered for the Russian army in the region.
“The Russians fired at a crowd of people with multiple Hurricane rocket launchers,” said regional governor of the Lugansk region, Sergey Gaidai. At least eight Ukrainian civilians were killed and more than twenty others, including two children, were injured while “collecting water from a cistern”. Such an act raises fears of a displacement of the clashes which had hitherto taken place on the front line towards the city centers and the homes where civilians live. The conquest of Donbass remains the priority objective set by the Kremlin for its army.
Strikes on the large city of Kharkiv, in northeastern Ukraine, also killed five people Monday evening and injured 22, including five children, according to local authorities.
In the context of discussions on the sidelines of the G7 summit and while kyiv continues to demand more arms deliveries, several countries have once again affirmed their desire to provide military assistance to Ukraine.
The United States now plans to provide it with a sophisticated system of surface-to-air missiles of “medium and long range”. France should send “significant quantities” of armored personnel carriers to Ukraine, announced Monday evening the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu.
Clarifications on the details of the delivery could be issued today since many of the allied diplomatic powers meet on Tuesday. The NATO summit is held in Madrid, where Volodymyr Zelensky should intervene remotely.