World leaders have strongly denounced Russia’s attack on a shopping center in Ukraine, callin git “abominable” and a war crime.
The search for survivors continues after Russia launched a deadly missile strike on a mall. more than 1,000 people were inside at the time.
The Ukrainian defense ministry said the air strike was deliberately timed for the busiest hours at the mall in order to cause the maximum number of casualties.
The leaders of the G7 released a joint statement condemning the “abominable attack.” The statement made clear that indiscriminate attacks aimed at civilians constitute a war crime. They pledged “unwavering support” for Ukraine and that Russia would be held accountable.
The Group of Seven economic nations was meeting at the time of the air strike. The countries’ annual summit was focused predominantly on Russia’s war against Ukraine, and what needs to be done in order to combat subsequent fallout, including looming global food shortages and skyrocketing costs of energy.
Currently 18 people are known to be dead. Fifty nine are known to be injured. Many are still missing, with an estimated 21 still unable to be found. Some people managed to flee to a nearby bomb shelter after an air raid siren alerted the area.
There were giant plumes of black smoke and flames coming from the mall as emergency crews rushed in to search for victims. It took 300 emergency workers more than four hours to extinguish the flames.
Ukrainian president Volodymr Zelensky said on Telegram that the number of victims was “unimaginable,” and that Russia fired missiles at the shopping mall with more than 1,000 civilians inside. The mall was then set on fire, and rescuers were sent to extinguish the fire.
“Russia continues to take out its impotence on ordinary citizens,” he said.
French President Emmanuel Macron separately made his own statement as well, calling the attack an “abomination.” He said that Russian people must see the truth.
The United Nations spokesperson Stephane Dujarric called the strike “deplorable,” and said that any sort of civilian structure, which includes shopping centers should never be targets. Civilians never should be targeted.
Russia’s ministry of defense said that the fire was caused by “the detonation of stored ammunition for western weapons” located by the mall. Moscow claimed that the mall was not in operation.