President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to ask the leaders of the G7 group of nations to urgently supply Ukraine with weapons to defend itself from Russian missiles, a day after Moscow launched retaliatory strikes that killed 19 people, according to Reuters.
U.S. President Joe Biden and other Group of Seven leaders will convene virtually later on Tuesday to discuss what more they can do to support Ukraine and to listen to Zelensky who has called air defence systems his „number 1 priority,” something Biden has already promised to provide.
In the most widespread wave of air strikes away from the front lines since the war began, Russian missiles crashed across Ukraine early on Monday, hitting power-generating facilities as well as non-strategic targets such as parks and tourist sites, leaving devastation, terror, and power cuts in their wake.
At least 19 people were killed and 105 wounded, emergency services officials said, in an attack that President Vladimir Putin framed as retaliation for what he said was the Ukrainian bombing on Saturday of the Kerch Bridge which links Russia to annexed Crimea.
Kyiv has not publicly taken responsibility for what Putin called a „terrorist act” that killed at least three civilians and destroyed parts of the bridge’s road segment which have been used to supply occupying Russian forces in Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials reported more strikes on Tuesday, including one on the southeastern town of Zaporizhzhia which killed at least one person.
Zelenskiy in a late Monday address said: „We will do everything to strengthen our armed forces. We will make the battlefield more painful for the enemy.”
As many as 301 settlements in the regions of Kyiv, Lviv, Sumy, Ternopil and Khmelnytsky remained without electricity on Tuesday morning.
Faced with blackouts, Ukraine has halted electricity exports to Republic of Moldova and the European Union, at a time when the continent already faces surging power prices that have stoked inflation and hampered industrial activity.
G7 leaders may also warn Belarus, a close Russian ally, against closer involvement in the war after Minsk said on Monday it was deploying its soldiers with Russian forces near Ukraine in response to what it said was a clear threat to Belarus from Kyiv and its backers in the West.