Russian attacks hit Kyiv as G7 meets

The high-profile attacks come as a week of Western diplomacy begins with the G7 summit in Germany, to be followed by a meeting of NATO leaders in Spain.

Russian strikes hit a residential building in Kyiv on Sunday in the first attack on the capital in almost three weeks, Ukraine said, calling for greater support from G7 leaders meeting in Germany.

One person was killed and four people, including a seven-year-old girl, were taken to hospital following the early-morning attacks, the city’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said.

Earlier, he announced attacks on three military centers in northern and western Ukraine, including one near the Polish border.

Allies, including US President Joe Biden, who has condemned the Kyiv attack as “barbaric”, will assess their support for Ukraine and the sanctions imposed on Moscow.

He posted on Twitter a photo of an injured girl being carried on a stretcher, saying she “slept peacefully in Kyiv until a Russian cruise missile exploded in her house.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address both the G7 and the NATO summit, the week after the EU showed support by granting Kyiv candidate status.

Russian forces tried to encircle Kyiv in the first weeks after the Feb. 24 invasion, but Sunday’s attack was the first on the capital since early June.

But the Russian Defense Ministry condemned as “false” reports that it had targeted a residential building.

It was the third time since the invasion that this northwest neighborhood had been attacked. The nearby weapons factory produces air-to-air and anti-tank rockets, among others.

Afterwards, residents gathered at the bottom of the building, many of them crying. One woman was still wearing a bathrobe.

Edward Shkuta, who lives next door, said there had been four missiles since 6:30 am.

– ‘Totally busy’ –

The Russians made a strategic breakthrough on Saturday when they seized the industrial center of Severodonetsk, the scene of weeks of fierce fighting that has left it largely destroyed.

Pro-Moscow separatists said on Saturday that Russian troops and their allies had entered Lysychansk, which sits opposite Severodonetsk on high ground across the Donets River.

In talks on the sidelines of the G7, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron said they saw an “opportunity to turn the tide” in Ukraine, a Downing Street spokesman said.

– ‘No heating’ –

He also offered to upgrade Belarusian warplanes to be capable of carrying nuclear weapons, in comments broadcast on Russian television.

Ukraine said it had come under “massive bombardment” on Saturday morning from neighboring Belarus, which, though an ally of Russia, is not officially involved in the conflict.

Mariupol residents face the prospect of a desperately cold winter, according to mayoral aide Petro Andryushenko, who said local committees have been instructed to collect data on the need for firewood and charcoal.

The Moscow-backed city leadership would not even be able to provide heating if it wanted to, given “enormous damage” to the pipeline supplying natural gas to the city, Andryushenko added.

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