G7 say Russian missile attacks are ‘war crimes’ and it will hold Putin to account
Vladimir Putin and his forces have been accused of war crimes by the UK and other G7 allies after a wave of missile and drone attacks on Ukrainian cities.
Prime Minister Liz Truss and allies from the G7 democracies condemned the strikes in the "strongest possible terms", adding that "indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilian populations constitute a war crime".
“We will hold President (Vladimir) Putin and those responsible to account” for this week’s strikes the leaders said a statement after a meeting in which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged them to hit Russia’s energy sector with tougher sanctions saying, “There can be no dialogue with this leader of Russia, who has no future.”
“Now, one person is blocking peace – and this person is in Moscow,” Mr Zelensky told them in a virtual meeting on Tuesday after at least 19 people were killed in strikes on Monday.
After hearing from Zelensky, the G7 leaders said they were “undeterred and steadfast in our commitment to providing the support Ukraine needs to uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“We will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military, diplomatic and legal support and will stand firmly with Ukraine for as long as it takes," the joint statement said.
It came as residents in the capital Kyiv took cover for a second day deep in the underground metro, where trains were still running, as Russian forces targeted Ukraine with a fresh barrage of missiles and munition-carrying drones.
Viktoriya Moshkivski, 35, and her family were among hundreds of people in the Zoloti Vorota station, near a park where a missile ripped a crater next to a playground on Monday.
“(Putin) thinks that if he scares the population, he can ask for concessions, but he is not scaring us. He is pissing us off,” she said as her sons, Timur, 5, and Rinat, 3, sat by her side on a sleeping bag, the younger playing with a King Kong action figure.
The bombardment Tuesday struck both energy infrastructure and civilian areas, just as Monday’s attacks did.
One person was killed when 12 missiles slammed into public facilities in the southern city of Zaporizhzhia, setting off a large fire, the State Emergency Service said. A local official said the missiles hit a school, residential buildings and medical facilities.
Energy facilities in the western Lviv and Vinnitsya regions also took hits.
Although officials said Ukrainian forces shot down an inbound Russian missile before it reached Kyiv, the capital region experienced rolling power outages as a result of the previous day's deadly strikes.
The governor of the Mykolaiv region, Vitaliy Kim, urged residents to remain in bomb shelters as "there are enough missiles still in the air".
The State Emergency Service said 19 people died and 105 people were wounded in Monday’s strikes. At least five of the victims were in Kyiv, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said. More than 300 cities and towns lost power, from the capital to Lviv on the border with Poland.