WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Two Russian missiles struck a crowded Ukrainian shopping center in broad daylight on Monday.
- Reports say there were up to 1,000 civilians inside the shopping mall.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, “the number of victims is impossible to imagine.”
Two Russian missiles struck a shopping mall in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, where more than 1000 civilians were inside. Videos showed shoppers fleeing for safety from a massive fire and billowing smoke inside the mall.
“The occupiers launched a missile strike at shopping center,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, according to Nexta TV News. “There were more than a thousand civilians. The mall is on fire, rescuers are extinguishing fire, number of victims is unimaginable.”
Firefighters were seen racing to extinguish the flames that appeared to consume much of the mall structure. Local officials confirmed at least 18 people have been killed and 59 others were injured. Unfortunately, those numbers are likely to increase.
Kremenchuk is a city on the banks of Ukraine’s Dnieper River, about five hours southeast of the capital city of Kyiv.
Dmytro Kuleba, the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, called Russia a “disgrace to humanity” and said they “must face consequences.
“The response should be more heavy arms for Ukraine, more sanctions on Russia, and more businesses leaving Russia,” Kuleba said on Twitter.
Zelenskyy spoke at the G7 summit via video link on Monday and requested more heavy weaponry for his country. The European Union has approved the application of Ukraine to become a candidate country for admission to the 27-strong bloc.
In his address, Zelenskyy said “the Russian state has become the largest terrorist organization in the world. And this is a fact.”
Russia has launched cruise missile strikes on areas far from the battlefield. Some analysts believe that Kremlin is targeting critical infrastructure.
A senior US defense official said Kremlin carried out up to 60 airstrikes over the weekend in Ukraine. The official said it is not yet determined whether the strikes were intended to respond to the G7 meeting or the arrival of the first US-built HIMARS rocket launchers in Ukraine.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the shopping mall strike was “the latest in a string of atrocities.” He promised that the US would keep on supporting Ukraine and hold Russia accountable for its actions.
Source: NBC News