Zelenskyy asks G7 for air defenses after new series of Russian strikes

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on G7 countries to speed up the provision of air defense systems after another day of Russian missile barrage that hit civilian targets and infrastructure across Ukraine.

The Ukrainian president’s call came during a video conference held by G7 leaders, including US President Joe Biden. Zelenskyy told the group that Russia “has fired more than 100 cruise missiles and dozens of various drones” in the past two days, many of which hit cities that have not been attacked in months.

“When Ukraine gets enough modern and effective surface-to-air defense systems, the key element of Russian terror – missile attacks – will no longer work,” he said.

The second Russian shooting appeared to be less intense than Monday’s nationwide bombardment that left dozens of Ukrainian civilians dead in some of the country’s biggest cities. Ukraine’s air force said on Tuesday that Russia fired 28 cruise missiles and dozens of suicide drones targeting critical infrastructure, 20 of which were destroyed by Ukrainian air defenses.

A government app that alerts residents when Russian missiles have entered Ukrainian airspace showed the country’s 24 provinces were on red alert.

The city of Zaporizhzhia in the southeast Ukraine was hit by 12 rockets in the early hours of Tuesday morning, killing one person and damaging several residential buildings, businesses and a pipeline, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office.

Andriy Sadoviy, the mayor of Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine, said the strikes had cut power for a second day. “There was a rocket attack on critical infrastructure in Lviv. Part of the city is again without electricity, ”he said in a message from the Telegram channel.

A power station in the Vinnytsia region was hit by suicide drones, the DTEK power company reported, while there was also a drone attack on Khmelnytskyi in western Ukraine.

Two missiles were shot down by air defenses in the Kyiv region, its governor Oleksiy Kuleba wrote on Telegram.

Photos posted on social media showed Kyiv residents taking refuge in basements and in the capital’s cavernous metro for a second day.

Ihor Klymenko, head of Ukraine’s national police, speaking on state television, said updated information confirmed that at least 19 people were killed and 108 injured in Monday’s barrage of missiles and drones . He added that 199 infrastructure sites had been damaged.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the strikes were retaliation for an attack on Saturday, which damaged a vital road and rail bridge linking Russian-occupied Crimea to the Russian mainland.

Monday’s attacks on civilian targets have been denounced by several Western governments as war crimes.

In his remarks to the G7, Zelenskyy did not mention Putin by name, but he made it clear that he believed no direct negotiations or peace deals could take place while Putin was Russia’s leader.

“The talks can take place either with another leader of Russia – who will respect the Charter of the United Nations, the fundamental principles of humanity and territorial integrity of Ukraine – or in a different configuration,” Zelenskyy said. “A person is blocking the peace – and this person is in Moscow.”

Zaporizhzhia has come under constant shelling in recent weeks. On Tuesday it was hit by Russian S-300 surface-to-air missiles tuned for use against ground targets, Ukraine’s state emergency service said.

He said rescuers were looking for people trapped under the debris and repairs were underway to damaged infrastructure. He shared photos on Telegram of first responders putting out a massive fire that engulfed a mall.

“Most of the rockets landed on the island of Khortytsia, where buildings were destroyed, windows were shattered and roofs were damaged. . . In addition, a car dealership was damaged directly in the city,” said Tymoshenko from the office of the Ukrainian president.

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