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West promises help to Ukraine as missiles attack shopping centers

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KREMENCHUK — Western countries Promised unwavering support for Ukraine in the war with Russia on Monday, and Ukrainian officials said 28 civilians were killed in Russian attacks, including missile attacks on crowded shopping centers.

Leaders of a group of seven major democracies met in Germany maintained sanctions on Russia as long as necessary and internationally against President Vladimir Putin's government and its ally Belarus. He said he would increase the pressure.

"Imagine if Putin was allowed to escape the violent takeover of a huge mass of other nations, sovereignty and independent territories," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the BBC. rice field.

The United States said it would complete another weapons package for Ukraine, including a long-range air defense system. This is the weapon Zelensky specifically requested when he addressed his leader on a video link on Monday. ..

Ukraine endured another difficult day on the front after losing the now abandoned city of Severodonetsk after weeks of artillery and street combat.

Russian artillery was bombarding twin Lysychans'k across the Siverskyi Donets. A Russian missile attack killed eight people and injured 21 in the city on Monday, said regional governor Serhiy Gaidai. There were no immediate Russian comments.

Lysychans'k is the last metropolis that Ukraine still holds in eastern Luhansk Oblast, after Russian troops were unable to occupy the capital Kyiv in the early days of the war, now in the fifth month. It became the main target of the Kremlin.

The Ukrainian Army General Staff said Russian troops were trying to block Lysychans'k from the south. Reuters could not confirm Russia's report that Moscow troops had already entered the city.

Two missiles attack a shopping center southeast of Kyiv in the city of Clementuk, killing at least 13 people and injuring 40, after which firefighters and soldiers survive from debris. Ukrainian officials said they were looking.

"This is not a coincidence. This is exactly Russia's calculated strike against this shopping center," Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an evening video speech. He previously said there were more than 1,000 people inside.

Russia has not commented on the Ukrainian accusation. Dmitry Polyansky, the UN's deputy ambassador, accused Ukraine of using the incident to gain Western sympathy prior to the planned summit of the NATO military alliance.

"We have to wait for the Department of Defense to say, but there are already many serious contradictions," Polyanskiy wrote on Twitter.

UN spokesman Stephen Dujaric said the attack was "sad." US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called this "the latest in a series of atrocities."

Ukrainian officials said Russian bombardment killed five people in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city, and at least two in eastern Donetsk Oblast.

"We sent him a message"

When the dawn began in Kremenchuk, rescue teams brought lights and generators to continue the search. .. At the hotel opposite the street where the rescue workers set up the base, there was a line of families holding their hands in tears.

Kirill Zeborovsky, 24, was working in a comfortable electronics store and was looking for his friend Ruslan, 22, who hadn't been contacted since the blast. ..

"We sent him a message, but he wasn't called anything," he said. He left his name and phone number to rescue workers in case his friend was found.

On February 24, Russia invaded Ukraine, which the Kremlin called a "special military operation" to drive the far-right nationalists out of the country and ensure Russia's security. It denies targeting civilians in conflicts that have killed thousands, fled millions, and wasted in cities.

Russian troops also control southern territory, including the port city of Mariupol, which collapsed after a long and devastating siege.

A senior US defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Russia had about 60 strikes against Ukraine over the weekend.

Officials said the weekend strike in Kieu that struck the apartment was near a factory that manufactures Ukrainian ammunition.

In a speech to G7 leaders, Zelensky again demanded weapons, US and European officials said. He called for assistance in exporting grain from Ukraine and further sanctions on Russia.

G7 countries have promised to put further pressure on Russia's finances, including a contract to limit Russia's oil prices, which U.S. officials have described as "close", giving Ukraine an additional $ 29.5 billion. I promised.

"We will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support and support Ukraine as much as necessary," the G7 statement said.

The White House said Russia defaulted on external debt for the first time in more than a century, as full sanctions effectively separated the country from the global financial system.

Russia refused the claim and told investors to go to the western financial institutions for the cash sent, but the bondholders did not receive it.

The war has brought difficulties to countries far beyond the borders of Europe, and the turmoil in food and energy exports has hit the world economy.

(Report by Reuters bureaux, Written by Angus MacSwan, Nick Macfie, Rami Ayyub, Edited by Frank Jack Daniel and Catherine Evans)