G7 promises ‘severe consequences’ if Russia uses nuclear, chemical or biological weapons on Ukraine

Leaders of the world’s most industrialized nations promised Tuesday ‘severe consequences’ if Russia uses nuclear, chemical or biological weapons on Ukraine after an emergency virtual meeting.

President Joe Biden and his allies from G7 democracies promised to hold Vladimir Putin accountable for war crimes.

Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky joined Biden and other world leaders on the call to demand more air defense systems for his embattled country.

A day earlier, Russia bombarded his country with dozens of missiles, hitting energy facilities and residential neighborhoods in a major escalation of Vladimir Putin‘s air war.

‘We condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms and recall that indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilian populations constitute a war crime,’ the leaders said after their meeting. 

More strikes were reported just before Zelensky joined the one-and-a-half-hour call, killing at least one person in the southeastern town of Zaporizhzhia and leaving part of the western city of Lviv without power.

Zelensky says more air defenses are his ‘number one priority.’ 

Following the crisis talks, G7 leaders rejected the ‘illegal attempted annexation’ of four areas of Ukraine and promised more sanctions sanctions against Moscow. 

The White House released an image of President Joe Biden on the emergency call with other G7 leaders, as they met for crisis talks following Monday’s Russian missile barrage

G7 leaders including President Joe Biden held an emergency virtual meeting on Tuesday morning, a day after Russia launched dozens of missiles at Ukraine. President Volodomyr Zelensky (right) joined at the start of the call to ask for air defense systems

Ukraine on Tuesday began the process of repairing damage from Russian missile strikes a day earlier. The attacks attracted global condemnation. Men can be seen fixing a pipe in a crater near Taras Shevchenko National University in Kyiv, Ukraine

A forensic science team carries a body of an army officer exhumed from what Ukrainian officials say is a mass grave in the newly recaptured town of Lyman, Donetsk region

‘We have imposed and will continue to impose further economic costs on Russia, including on individuals and entities – inside and outside of Russia – providing political or economic support for Russia’s illegal attempts to change the status of Ukrainian territory,’ the G7 statement said. 

Western leaders fear that Putin is intent on doing anything he can to reverse Ukrainian gains and could even resort to deploying tactical nuclear weapons. 

A day earlier Biden joined a chorus of international condemnation after Russia struck civilian targets in Ukraine, saying the missile attacks showed the ‘utter brutality’ of Vladmir Putin‘s illegal war. 

At least 11 people died as missiles rained down on 10 cities, including the capital Kyiv.    

‘These attacks killed and injured civilians and destroyed targets with no military purpose,’ said Biden. 

‘They once again demonstrate the utter brutality of Mr. Putin’s illegal war on the Ukrainian people.

‘We offer our condolences to the families and loved ones of those who were senselessly killed today, as well as our best wishes for the recovery of those who were wounded.’

Ukrainian officials said the assault included some 83 missiles, making it the most widespread assault since the war began.

They hit busy intersections, parks and tourist attractions right in the centre of Kyiv. 

The Ukrainian State Emergency Service said at least 11 people were killed and 64 were wounded.  

Putin said they were launched in response to an attack that damaged a key Russian bridge and warned that more could follow. 

The missiles slammed into civilian neighborhoods, or appeared to target energy infrastructure at a time when the region is preparing for the bitter cold of winter. 

They come as Russian forces have been pushed back by Ukrainian resistance, triggering fears that Putin could even use nuclear weapons in an effort to shore up his troops as well as his own hold on power in Moscow.

President Joe Biden on Monday condemned the Russian strikes on Ukrainian cities. He is pictured here leaving Brandywine Catholic Church in Wilmington, Delaware, on Saturday

Sites across Ukraine were hit by a wave of missiles, Ukraine said it counted 83 missiles.  Here a rescue worker responds to a strike in Zaporizhzhia

83 Russian missiles were launched at Ukraine in combination with Iranian drones, striking power stations, water supplies and civilians across the country – killing eight and wounding 24 in Kyiv alone

Rescuers work at a site of a residential building heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Zaporizhzhia

KYIV: Cars burn after Russian military strikes on cities across Ukraine as Putin takes revenge for the Crimea bridge blast

Biden demanded that he end the war and promised more support for Ukraine. 

‘These attacks only further reinforce our commitment to stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes,’ he said, as he prepared to leave his Delaware home and return to the White House.

‘Alongside our allies and partners, we will continue to impose costs on Russia for its aggression, hold Putin and Russia accountable for its atrocities and war crimes, and provide the support necessary for Ukrainian forces to defend their country and their freedom.’

Later, President Volodomyr Zelensky of Ukraine revealed that he had spoken with his American counterpart. 

‘Air defense is currently the number one priority in our defense cooperation,’ he tweeted. 

The U.S. has provided more than $16.8 billion of security assistance since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. 

Biden’s words echoed a wave of international criticism. 

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said: ‘This constitutes another unacceptable escalation of the war and, as always, civilians are paying the highest price.’ 

‘Russia once again has shown to the world what it stands for. It is terror and brutality,’ said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. 

‘I know Ukrainians will not be intimidated. And Ukrainians know that we will stand by your side, their side as long as it takes.’

KYIV: A woman injured in a missile strike this morning receives treatment in the front seat of an ambulance

KYIV: Cars burn on the streets of the Ukrainian capital this morning after multiple missiles struck the city – the first time in months that it has been hit as Putin exacts revenge for strikes on the Kerch Bridge

KYIV: A dead body lies in the streets after Russian missiles hit the Ukrainian capital for the first time in months, setting cars on fire and blowing up a park in a residential area

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly condemned ‘unacceptable’ Russian strikes, calling it ‘a demonstration of weakness by Putin, not strength.’ 

For his part, Putin said the strikes were retaliation for what he described as a ‘terrorist attack’ on a bridge linking Russia with Crimea. 

He said Russia could continue to launch strikes against key energy and military command facilities that would be ‘tough and proportionate to the level of threats,’ if Ukraine kept up such attacks.

Attacks were reported in Lviv, Ternopil and Zhytomyr in western Ukraine, Dnipro and Kremenchuk in the center of the country, Zaporizhzhia in the south and Kharkiv in the east.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia was intent on destroying his country.

‘The 229th day of full-scale war. On the 229th day, they are trying to destroy us and wipe us off the face of the earth. Completely,’ he wrote on his Telegram channel.

‘Destroy our people who are sleeping at home in Zaporizhzhia. Kill people on their way to work in Dnipro and Kyiv.’

KYIV: President Zelensky speaks on the streets of the capital during a missile attack by Russia to accuse the Kremlin of deliberately targeting civilians in order to sow terror

Oleksii Reznikov, the defence minister, said Ukraine’s courage would never be broken and ‘that the only thing they demolish is the future of [Russia] – a future of a globally despised rogue terrorist state.’

Videos and pictures from the Ukrainian capital showed burning cars and bodies in the streets as officials said rockets hit close to a well-known memorial to a famous statesman, near a children’s play area in a park, and a pedestrian bridge. More footage showed an apartment block in Dnipro in flames.

Putin spoke at a meeting with his security cabinet today to plot further revenge. As the talks got underway, Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko announced that a ‘joint military task force’ with Russian troops would be deployed on his western border. Lukashenko has so far not committed any forces to the war.

Meanwhile hardliners within Russia demanded a declaration of full war and the use of nuclear weapons. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had ruled out the atomic option on Sunday, but that will do little to dampen fears as Putin runs out of options having already annexed occupied territory and conscripted hundreds of thousands of troops.

Ukrainian social media networks were flooded with videos of defiance in the wake of the attacks, as people in bomb shelters and in the Kyiv subway network sung the national anthem and other patriotic songs even as bombs fell.

 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11303305/Zelensky-joins-Biden-G7-leaders-ask-air-defense-systems-virtual-meeting.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 G7 promises ‘severe consequences’ if Russia uses nuclear, chemical or biological weapons on Ukraine

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