Russia has been sharply condemned after the rocket attack on a shopping center in eastern Ukraine. The participants at the G7 summit in Elmau, Bavaria, spoke of a war crime and threatened Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin with the consequences.
At least 15 people were killed in the attack in the city of Kremenchuk on Monday, according to Poltava Region Governor Dmytro Lunin. Around 60 others were injured. The Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office also reported more than 40 missing persons reports.
“The occupiers fired rockets at a shopping center where more than a thousand civilians were staying,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote on the Telegram news service. In a video that Zelenskyj distributed, among others, a burning building with thick dark clouds of smoke could be seen. According to local authorities, the fire was extinguished in the evening. A video distributed by Gov. Lunin on Telegram showed a largely burned-out building, of which mainly concrete pillars and a metal structure remained.
The rocket hit the building on Monday afternoon. According to the Ukrainian Air Force, X-22 air-to-surface missiles were used in the attack. These were fired by long-range Tu-22 bombers from the Kursk region of Russia, it said. In the vicinity of the shopping center there are several industrial plants, including a road construction machinery factory. Security Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov said a second missile had hit a local sports stadium.
The UN Security Council plans to discuss the issue on Tuesday, according to diplomats in New York. The meeting at 9:00 p.m. CEST was scheduled at the request of Ukraine.
Russia has been condemned by leading Western politicians.
“Indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians are war crimes. Russian President Putin and those responsible will have to account for this,” emphasized the G7 summit on Monday evening.
“Russia’s attack on civilians in a mall was brutal,” US President Joe Biden wrote on Twitter. “This appalling attack shows once again the level of cruelty and barbarism the Russian leader is capable of,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on the sidelines of the G7 summit.
EU Council President Charles Michel spoke of a “terribly indiscriminate” Russian missile attack. But Russia’s intimidation tactics will not work, he said confidently on Twitter. French President Emmanuel Macron described the rocket attack as “absolute horror”.