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The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy has appealed to wealthy Western nations in the world to help Kyiv create an ‘air shield’ after intensified deadly Russian aerial attacks which have continued to grow.
Zelenskyy, who told the G7 club of rich nations ‘millions of people would be grateful’ for help fending off attacks from the sky, warned Russia ‘still has room for further escalation’ after Monday’s bloody missile salvoes across Ukraine.
Following the attacks, Washington pledged to up shipments of air defences to Ukraine, while Germany promised delivery “in the coming days” of the first Iris-T missile shield reportedly capable of protecting a city.
A week of marked escalation in the war, G7 leaders said that Belarus’s plan to deploy joint forces with Russia constituted a new instance of ‘complicity’ with Moscow, warning Minsk to ‘stop enabling’ Russia’s invasion.
Following talks with Zelenskyy, G7 leaders said they would hold Russian President Vladimir Putin to account for the attacks but did not say how.
Before the G7 meeting, the Kremlin had already said it expected ‘confrontation’ with the West to continue.
Russia followed up the missile launches at the start of the week with further aerial attacks on Tuesday.
Officials in Ukraine’s western region of Lviv said at least three Russian missiles fired Tuesday targeted energy infrastructure, forcing Kyiv to ask people to cut their electricity usage and switch off appliances at night.
Russia’s defence ministry confirmed Tuesday’s renewed attacks, saying it had carried out massive strikes using long-range and high-precision weapons and that ‘all assigned targets were hit’.
In Lviv, the largest city in the region of the same name, the mayor said that one-third of homes were without power.
Monday’s attacks saw Russian missiles hit the Ukrainian capital Kyiv for the first time in months.
The Ukrainian defence ministry said Monday that Russia had fired 83 missiles at Ukraine, of which its air defences shot down 52, among which were 43 cruise missiles.
Ukraine said 19 people died and more than 100 people were wounded in the strikes, while the UN said Russia’s bombardment may have violated the laws of war.
Residents across Ukraine expressed shock and rage after the onslaught.
Ksenia Ryazantseva’s suburb of Kyiv, a city of three million people that has largely been spared the violence seen on Ukraine’s southern and eastern fronts, was one of those targeted.