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Russian airstrikes hit a busy shopping center in central Ukraine, causing massive casualties

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said there were up to 1,000 people in the mall when the missile hit, adding that "the number of victims is unimaginable."

Later on Monday, Dmitro Lunin, head of the Poltava military regime, said the attack killed 10 people and injured 40.

"I don't know how many people are under the rubble," said Volodymyr Solohub, a local official in the Poltava Oblast municipality.

Video from the scene showed a large amount of smoke swirling from a building surrounded by fire. The area of ​​the mall is about 1 hectare (about the size of two soccer fields), and the strike occurred around 4 pm. Local time, Solohab said. The

attack targeted a site in Central Ukraine, far from the epicenter of the Russian war, which has recently been concentrated in the eastern part of the country.

When the G7 leaders met at the summitin Germany, their main purpose was to coordinate the Western response to the Russian invasion.

Russia recently established itself in eastern Ukraine, fighting and occupying the southern territory of Lysychans'k for several weeks before occupying the city of Severodonetsk.

This eliminated most Ukrainian defenses in the Luhansk region, strengthened control of the southern territory, provided strategic benefits, and slowed the effectiveness of the Ukrainian counterattack.

Russian troops have also stepped up their attacks in the Donetsk region, slightly closer to the band of industrial cities in the region running south from Slovyansk through Kramatorsk to Kostantinovka.

In a joint statement at the summit on Monday, the G7 vowed to continue to support Ukraine "as long as necessary."

The United States plans to announce the purchase of an advanced medium- to long-range ground-to-air missile defense system for Ukraine earlier this week, sources familiar with the announcement told CNN. ..

"Zelensky put a great deal of emphasis on putting Ukraine in the best possible position on the battlefield next month, not next year. It is in the interests of the Ukrainian people." .. US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said after the Ukrainian President had virtually met with leaders.

Earlier, sources familiar with the matter told CNN that Zelensky wanted leaders to end the war by the end of the year, before the start of winter.