(Reuters) – Exhausted firefighters searched for survivors in the rubble of a shopping mall in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk where authorities said 36 people were still missing after a Russian missile strike that killed at least 18.
Russia denied hitting the mall, saying it had struck a weapons depot and a subsequent explosion of ammunition had triggered a fire in the nearby complex. The Group of Seven rich democracies called the strike a Russian war crime.
ECONOMY AND DIPLOMACY
* The Group of Seven economic powers agreed to explore imposing a ban on transporting Russian oil that has been sold above a certain price, they said, aiming to hit Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war chest.
* French President Emmanuel Macron said Russia could not be allowed to win the war in Ukraine, and that Western powers will support Kyiv for as long as necessary and are ready to ramp up efforts to target Russian energy exports.
* Western sanctions against Russia will only end when Putin accepts that his plans in Ukraine will not succeed, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said.
* Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said there had been some progress in negotiations aimed at overcoming Turkey’s objection to their countries’ bid to join NATO.
* The governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region southeast of Kremenchuk reported another Russian missile strike and said rescue workers were searching for people under rubble in the city of Dnipro.
* Ukrainian forces will try to hold the line against Russia in the east from the vantage point of the city of Lysychansk, buying time for the arrival of Western weapons and the region’s defenders to prepare fortifications, Luhansk province’s governor said.
* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he had told NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg that his country needs missile defence systems to prevent Russian attacks.
* Russia again shelled Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, hitting apartment buildings and a primary school, the regional governor said. The shelling killed five people and wounded 22 including children.
* Already displaced from the frontline region of Kharkiv that has been partially occupied since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Alia Skrypka, 35, believed that Kremenchuk, more than 170 km from the nearest fighting, was safe. She was wrong.
* “It is impossible to even imagine the number of victims (in the Ukrainian shopping mall)…It’s useless to hope for decency and humanity from Russia.” -President Zelenskiy
* “I flew head first and splinters hit my body. The whole place was collapsing” -mall attack survivor Ludmyla Mykhailets
* “Russian President Putin and those responsible will be held to account.” -G7 leaders
(Compiled by Angus MacSwan and Mark Heinrich)