Russian Missiles Rock Kyiv as G7 Leaders Gather in Germany

As the Western alliance supporting Kyiv starts showing signs of strain, British PM Boris Johnson says 'the price of backing down, the price of allowing Putin to succeed… will be far, far higher.'

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Smoke rises after a Russian missile strike hits Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday.
Smoke rises after a Russian missile strike hits Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday.Credit: STRINGER/ REUTERS
Reuters
Reuters

Up to four explosions rang out in central Kyiv in the early hours on Sunday, in the first such attack on the city in weeks. Two more blasts were heard on the southern outskirts of the city later in the day.

"The Russians hit Kyiv again. Missiles damaged an apartment building and a kindergarten," said Andriy Yermak, head of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's administration.

Ukraine's police chief, Ihor Klymenko, said on national television that five people had been wounded.

The Western alliance supporting Kyiv was starting to show signs of strain as leaders fret about the growing economic cost, including surging food and energy prices.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, speaking as Group of Seven leaders gathered for a summit in Germany, said the West needed to maintain a united front against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"In order to protect that unity, in order to make it work, you've got to have really, really honest discussions about the implications of what's going on, the pressures that individual friends and partners are feeling," he told reporters.

"But the price of backing down, the price of allowing Putin to succeed, to hack off huge parts of Ukraine, to continue with his program of conquest, that price will be far, far higher."

Strategic city falls

Life had been returning to normal in Kyiv after fierce resistance held off Russian advances in the early phase of the war, although air raid sirens regularly sound across the city.

There had been no major strikes on Kyiv since June.

Mayor Vitali Klitschko, said on the Telegram messaging app that Sunday's strike had partially destroyed a nine-story apartment building and caused a fire.

"There are people under the rubble," Klitschko said. "They have pulled out a seven-year-old girl. She is alive. Now they're trying to rescue her mother."

Explosions were also heard on Sunday in the central city of Cherkasy, which has been largely untouched by bombardment so far, regional governor Oleksandr Skichko said on Telegram.

Russia denies targeting civilians, but Ukraine and the West accuse Russian forces of war crimes in a conflict that has killed thousands, sent millions fleeing Ukraine and destroyed cities.

The strategic eastern battlefield city of Sievierodonetsk fell to pro-Russian forces on Saturday after Ukrainian troops retreated, saying there was no longer anything to defend in the ruined city after months of fierce fighting.

The fall of Sievierodonetsk is a major defeat for Kyiv as it seeks to keep control of the eastern Donbas region, a key military objective for the Kremlin.

Moscow says the Donbas' Luhansk and Donetsk provinces, where it has backed uprisings since 2014, are independent countries. It demands Ukraine cede the entire territory of the two provinces to separatist administrations.

G7 summit

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said he would urge his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts to start a dialogue during a peace-building mission to the warring countries and would ask Putin to order an immediate ceasefire.

"War has to be stopped and global food supply chains need to be reactivated," Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, said before leaving to attend the G7 summit.

The United Nations has warned that a protracted war in Ukraine, one of the world's major grain exporters, threatens to cause a global hunger crisis.

Seeking to further tighten the screws on Russia, G7 countries announced an import ban on new gold from Russia as they started their summit in the Bavarian Alps.

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