Rescuers in Ukraine searched through the rubble of a shopping mall today, looking for more victims of a Russian missile strike that killed at least 18 people on Monday. At least 59 others needed medical assistance and 25 of them were hospitalized.
Ukrainian and Western leaders are calling the strike a war crime and a terrorist attack.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called it “one of the most daring terrorist attacks in European history.” He said more than 1,000 afternoon shoppers and workers were inside the mall in the city of Kremenchuk during the Russian military’s attack on the civilian target.
Fighting back tears, a survivor named Kateryna Romashyna who had been in the mall at the time, said “you have to be a real monster” to bomb a shopping mall.
Western leaders meeting at a G-7 Summit in Germany condemned Russia’s aggression and violations of human rights. The G-7 leaders said, “indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians constitute a war crime.”
“Russia cannot and should not win” the war in Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron said, declaring that Monday’s attack on the mall was “a new war crime.”
The strike came during a barrage of Russian missile strikes all across Ukraine, including in the capital of Kyiv. Wayne Jordash, a British lawyer helping Ukraine to investigate war crimes, said there appear to be no military targets near the mall that could even be used as a pretext for the mall attack, but the investigation is ongoing. He did say a factory nearby was also hit.
Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Iryna Venediktova, said the missile attack was one of Russia’s “crimes against humanity,” noting that Moscow has been “systematically shelling civilian infrastructure with the aim to scare people, to kill people, to bring terror to our cities and villages.”
The Putin regime’s bloody invasion is designed to force Ukraine to surrender its territory and to recognize Russia’s so-called sovereignty over Crimea, which Moscow took from Ukraine during the Obama administration.
Meanwhile, here in the U.S., senators from both parties are increasingly frustrated over the Biden administration’s delay in delivering global food aid funding that was included in the Ukraine bill passed by Congress this spring.
Politico reports that lawmakers have gotten no explanation for why the money hasn’t been sent out.
Congress passed the $40 billion emergency aid measure in early May to help countries hurt by the Russian invasion. And Congress approved billions more for food assistance for Ukraine itself.