Zelenskiy calls on UN to visit missile-hit mall as G7 pledges continued support for Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called on the United Nations to send a special representative or the secretary-general to the site of a missile strike on a shopping center in the city of Kremenchuk.

Zelenskiy said this would allow the UN to independently gather information and “see that it was indeed a Russian missile strike”.

Zelenskiy made the comment June 28 in a virtual address to an emergency session of the UN Security Council that Kyiv requested after the June 27 missile strike in which at least 18 people died.

The Russian Defense Ministry has denied targeting the mall, saying its missiles were fired at an arms depot and the explosion of ammunition stockpiles sparked the deadly blaze.

“As a result of a high-precision strike, Western-made weapons and ammunition concentrated in the storage area for further shipment to the Ukrainian group of troops in Donbass were hit,” the official said. the ministry said in a report.

Moscow also incorrectly claimed that the mall was “not operational” at the time of the strike.

Speaking from Kyiv, Zelenskiy, who after the strike said Russia should be called a “state sponsor of terrorism”, also called on the UN to legally define the term “terrorist state”. He argued that Moscow’s invasion of his country demonstrates the “urgent need to list it” at the UN level and punish any terrorist state.

He also said that Russia should be excluded of the Security Council and should be stripped of his powers in the General Assembly.

Before Zelenskiy spoke, a UN official told the Security Council that the UN had registered more than 10,600 civilian casualties in Ukraine, including 4,731 dead. Rosemary DiCarlo, the undersecretary general for political and peacebuilding affairs, said the true toll was “significantly higher”.

In addition to the 18 confirmed dead in the missile attack on the mall, dozens were injured and many are still missing, authorities said June 28.

Regional Governor Dmytro Lunyn said the mall was “completely destroyed” by the missile strike, which Ukraine says was fired by Tu-22 long-range bombers.

Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries pledged on the final day of a summit in Germany to support Kyiv “as long as it takes” as the war continues.

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G7 leaders agreed that Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘must not win this war, and we will continue to monitor and drive up the economic and political costs for President Putin and his regime,’ German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said at a closing press conference.

“For this, it is important to remain united, including in the long term which we are certainly still facing.”

Speaking at the end of the summit, French President Emmanuel Macron pledged that the seven major industrialized democracies would support Ukraine and maintain sanctions against Russia “as long as necessary and with the necessary intensity”.

He called the mall attack a “new war crime” and said “Russia cannot and must not win” the war.

In another strike reported on June 28, Russian missiles hit the city of Dnipro, the regional governor said. A fire broke out following the strike and rescuers were looking for people under the rubble, a spokeswoman for the Dnipropetrovsk region emergency services said.

The missile hit a transport company, destroying 21 cars and 13 trucks, the spokeswoman said. A second missile hit an industrial enterprise, damaging several buildings.

Luhansk Regional Military Administration chief Serhiy Hayday says Ukrainian defenders will try to hold the line against Russian forces in the east as they seek to buy time until weapons arrive Western.

Russian forces were try to storm Lysychansk, which is across the Siverskiy Donets River from Syevyerodonetsk, to complete their capture of Luhansk in the Donbass region.

West of Lysychansk, the mayor of Sloviansk said Russian forces fired cluster munitions, including one that hit a residential area. Authorities said the number of casualties has not yet been confirmed.

Separately, Zelenskiy said he told NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg that his country needed missile defense systems to prevent Russian attacks.

The British Ministry of Defense said in its daily intelligence newsletter on June 28, Ukrainian forces continued to consolidate their positions on higher ground at Lysychansk, having abandoned its twin town, Syevyerodonetsk, to the Russians.

The bulletin indicates that Ukrainian forces continued to disrupt Russian command and control with successful strikes deep behind Russian lines.

British intelligence said Russian forces in the Donbass are increasingly “emptied” and their combat effectiveness has deteriorated, a situation “probably unsustainable” in the long term.