Russian missile fire hits Ukrainian capital Kyiv during G7 meeting

Russia has attacked the Ukrainian capital Kyiv as G7 world leaders meet in Germany to discuss the war

Russia has launched missile strikes against the Ukrainian capital Kyiv for the first time in weeks as world leaders gather in Germany for the G7 summit.

Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko wrote on the Telegram messaging app that “according to preliminary data, 14 missiles were launched against the Kyiv and Kyiv region.”

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The attorney general’s office said preliminary information indicated that one person had been killed and four injured; Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said four injured people were taken to hospital and a seven-year-old girl was pulled alive from the rubble.

Russia launched missile strikes against Kyiv for the first time in weeks

In the town of Cherkasy, about 160 km southeast of Kyiv, one person was killed and five others injured in two Russian rocket fire, regional governor Ihor Taburets said.

Two more explosions were later heard in Kyiv, but their cause and possible victims were not immediately clear.

Prior to the attack, Kyiv had not suffered a Russian airstrike since June 5.

Why has Russia targeted Kyiv again?

Mr Klitschko said he thought it may have been a “symbolic attack” by Russia ahead of this week’s NATO summit in Madrid.

The NATO summit will feature leaders from member states of the military alliance as they meet to discuss security issues surrounding Russia’s war in Ukraine.

NATO is an alliance of 30 member states that guarantee each other’s security through a system of collective defense, which means that an attack on one member state is considered an attack on all.

The new attacks on Kyiv also come on the day the G7 summit started in Germany.

G7 leaders meet in Germany to discuss war in Ukraine and other international issues

G7 leaders including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden meet at Schloss Elmau in Germany to discuss issues of global importance.

The war in Ukraine is also expected to dominate the G7 summit, although other issues will also be discussed.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly video address that as a war expected to last five days in Moscow entered its fifth month, Russia “felt compelled to put on such a missile show”.

He said the war was at a difficult stage, “when we know the enemy will not succeed, when we understand that we can defend our country, but we don’t know how long it will take, how many more attacks , losses and there will be efforts before we can see that victory is already on our horizon”.

How is the war in Ukraine going?

Russian troops are trying to consolidate their gains in the east of the country, engulfing the last remaining Ukrainian stronghold in the Luhansk region after Ukrainian troops withdrew from the charred ruins of Sievierodonetsk.

The military said Moscow-backed separatists now had full control of the chemical plant which was the last Ukrainian checkpoint in the city.

Russia on Saturday launched dozens of missiles at several areas across the country away from the heart of eastern battles.

Some of the missiles were fired by Russian Tu-22 long-range bombers deployed from Belarus for the first time, Ukraine’s air command said.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said late Saturday that separatist forces backed by Russia and Moscow now control Sievierodonetsk and the villages surrounding it.

He said the attempt by Ukrainian forces to turn the Azot plant into a “stubborn center of resistance” had been thwarted.

Serhiy Haidai, the governor of Luhansk province, confirmed on Friday that Ukrainian troops were withdrawing from Sievierodonetsk after weeks of shelling and house-to-house fighting.

On Saturday, he said the city had fallen to Russian and separatist fighters, who he said are now trying to blockade Lysychansk from the south. The town lies across the river just west of Sievierodonetsk.

Capturing Lysychansk would give Russian forces control of all major settlements in the province, an important step towards Russia’s goal of capturing all of Donbass. The Russians and the separatists control about half of Donetsk, the second province of Donbass.

Christi C. Elwood