Latest Russia-Ukraine war news: Live updates – The Washington Post
Updated June 28, 2022 at 4:35 a.m. EDT|Published
June 28, 2022 at 2:00 a.m. EDT
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky again urged the United States to name Moscow a state sponsor of terrorism — a designation that would trigger significant penalties — after a Russian missile strike on a shopping mall in the central city of Kremenchuk killed at least 18 people. He said Russian forces deliberately targeted the mall in a “terrible terrorist attack.” Leaders of the Group of Seven nations, an assembly of economic powers, collectively condemned the strike as a war crime, and the U.N. Security Council is set to discuss the strike at a meeting on Tuesday. In Kremenchuk, rescue teams worked through the night as hopes of finding survivors faded.
In eastern Ukraine, Kyiv’s troops are still holding back Russian forces in Lysychansk, the last Ukrainian foothold in the Luhansk region. Russia has made marginal in recent days, but Ukrainian supply lines are still intact, according to U.S.-based military analysts. Multiple Russian rockets struck Lysychansk on Monday, killing at least eight civilians who were collecting water from a tanker, the regional governor said.
NATO leaders are gathering Tuesday for a summit in Madrid, as the transatlantic alliance seeks a long-term strategy for the war on its borders and for global issues such as soaring commodity prices. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced Monday that the Western military bloc will sharply increase the number of its high-readiness troops to 300,000.
Here’s what to know:
- Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Tajikistan, a close Central Asian ally, on Tuesday. He intends to discuss Afghanistan and other regional issues with his Tajik counterpart in what would be his first foreign trip since the invasion of Ukraine.
- Ukraine has received advanced multiple-launch rocket systems dispatched by Washington and appears to be employing them “very well,” the Pentagon said.
- The trial of WNBA star Brittney Griner, who U.S. officials say is wrongfully detained in Russia, will begin July 1. She has been in custody on a drug charge for four months.
Photos: Workers sift through rubble after Kremenchuk mall strike
Hundreds of emergency responders sifted through the burnt remains of a shopping mall in the Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk early Tuesday after officials there said it was hit by at least one Russian missile.
The Monday afternoon strike killed at least 18 people and injured scores more, the regional governor of Poltava said. Some 36 people were missing as of Tuesday morning, he added, saying more than a thousand medics, volunteers and law enforcement officers “worked all night on the ruins.”
Leaders of the Group of Seven nations called the strike “abominable” and promised continued support for Ukraine as they gathered in Germany for a summit. “Indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians constitute a war crime,” they said in a statement.
Mourners dropped off flowers and stuffed animals outside the mall Tuesday.
U.N. Security Council to meet Tuesday to discuss deadly Russian strike
Ukraine has requested a meeting at the U.N. Security Council after a Russian strike Monday on a mall in central Ukraine killed at least 15 people and injured scores more. The meeting is scheduled to take place Tuesday afternoon and will include an address from the U.N. undersecretary general for political and peace-building affairs.
Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukraine’s envoy to the United Nations, called the attack “barbaric” and vowed to hold the country accountable.
At the time of the missile strike, there were about 1,000 civilians inside the building, none of whom presented a threat to Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Monday evening. He added that fatalities may rise as rescuers comb through the wreckage.
At summit, Biden and other leaders cast about for ways to help Ukraine
TELFS, Austria — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged President Biden and other leaders gathered here Monday to urgently provide Ukraine with heavy weaponry, a move he said would help drive Russia out of his country by winter.
Zelensky, clad in his trademark green and appearing virtually from his country to address leaders of the Group of Seven ensconced in a scenic Bavarian Alps retreat, sought “additional air defense capabilities that could shoot down missiles out of the sky,” according to White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan.
“He would like to see his military, and those in the West who are supporting his military, making maximum use of the next few months to put Ukraine in as good a position as they can possibly be in,” Sullivan said. That includes an ambitious goal of ousting Russia from Ukraine before winter weather bogs down forces on both sides, a difficult military feat whose success is uncertain.
Biden told Zelensky that the United States plans to provide Ukraine with an advanced medium-range to long-range missile defense system, as well as artillery and counter-battery radar systems, administration officials said.
Putin heads to Central Asia, confirms participation in G-20 in Indonesia
Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit two Central Asian nations this week, his first foreign trips since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February and the first of multiple summits he will attend in the coming days.
Putin on Tuesday will visit Tajikistan, where he will sit down with President Emomali Rahmon. On Wednesday he heads to Turkmenistan for a summit with the leaders of Azerbaijan, Iran and Kazakhstan.
The trips precede Putin’s meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who will visit Moscow later this week. Widodo will arrive after stopping in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, to see President Volodymyr Zelensky. Widodo plans to advocate for peace in Ukraine and an end to the war, and express concerns about a potential global food and energy crisis, according to Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Kremlin confirmed that Putin had accepted Jakarta’s invitation to participate in the Group of 20 summit in November, according to Russian media, which cited an aide to Putin. Indonesia, which is hosting the gathering, had insisted on inviting Russia to the summit, despite calls from some Western countries to exclude it.
This week’s meetings allow Putin to show he is not diplomatically isolated. Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he visited Beijing in February and met with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
At least 18 dead after Russian strike on shopping mall, Ukraine says
A Russian missile strike on a shopping mall in central Ukraine on Monday killed at least 18 civilians and left scores injured, Ukrainian officials said, adding urgency to the appeals from Kyiv for Western nations to send more advanced weapons.
The strike in the city of Kremenchuk came amid a broader escalation in Russian attacks in recent days and as Group of Seven leaders met at a summit in the Bavarian Alps. The Pentagon said Monday that Russia launched about 60 missile strikes across Ukraine over the weekend, including an attack that hit an apartment building in Kyiv, killing one.
G-7 leaders from the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan condemned the attack Monday, calling it “abominable” and vowing “unwavering support” for Ukraine. “Indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians constitute a war crime,” their statement said. “We will not rest until Russia ends its cruel and senseless war on Ukraine.”
Updates from key battlefields: More than a dozen killed in airstrikes on shopping mall, residential areas
Russia continued its blitz of airstrikes across Ukraine on Monday. More than a dozen civilians were killed in the attacks, leading Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to accuse Russia of becoming “the largest terrorist organization in the world.” A senior U.S. defense official said the motivation for the more than 60 airstrikes in recent days was unknown. It could be in protest of the Group of Seven summit or the arrival of advanced rocket systems to Ukraine, he said.
Here are some updates from across the country:
Central Ukraine: A Russian missile strike on a shopping mall in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk killed at least 18 civilians and left scores injured, according to local officials. Zelensky said rescuers are still working to establish how many people are under the rubble, warning “the losses may be significant.”
Kharkiv: Another strike on the outskirts of Ukraine’s second-largest city killed at least five people and wounded more than 30, five of them children. Zelensky said all of the casualties were civilians.
Donbas region: Russian forces haven’t yet encircled Lysychansk, their new target in eastern Ukraine after capturing the strategically important city of Severodonetsk, the U.S. defense official said Monday. “The Ukrainians are fighting very well, or very hard in that part of the battlespace,” he added. Ukrainian forces have been digging trenches around Lysychansk over the past week to seal the city to everyone but military and humanitarian rescue missions.
Kyiv: At least one person was killed in a weekend attack that hit an apartment building in Kyiv, disrupting an uneasy calm that had settled over the capital since Russia withdrew its forces from the area in April.
Kherson: Near this city in Ukraine’s south, occupied by Russian forces in the early days of the invasion, there are growing signs of resistance. An official with the U.S. Defense Department said Monday that it was aware of the assassinations of local Russian officials, as well as reports suggesting that Ukrainians have been successful in liberating several small towns northwest and west of Kherson.
Exports to Russia from China plummet, study shows
Global exports to Russia fell sharply after the Ukraine invasion, not only from Western countries that enacted sanctions but also from non-sanctioning countries including China, a new analysis shows.
The study suggests Moscow is struggling to find suppliers for a range of goods.
Over roughly two months after the invasion began Feb. 24, exports to Russia from sanctioning countries fell by about 60 percent while exports from non-sanctioning countries fell by about 40 percent, according to the study from the Peterson Institute for International Economics, which analyzed data from 54 countries.
The available data ends on April 30, so the analysis doesn’t give a picture up to the current day, Martin Chorzempa, senior fellow and author of the study, said in an interview. But a separate analysis of China-only data through the end of May shows that China’s exports to Russia remained well below prewar levels, suggesting that Beijing is wary of helping Moscow, Chorzempa said.