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Ukraine updates: G7 slams Russia's 'indiscriminate attacks'

October 11, 2022

G7 leaders have condemned Russia's missile attacks on Ukraine and vowed to hold Russian President Vladimir Putin to account. Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials said fresh strikes hit Zaporizhzhia and Lviv. DW has the latest.

Firefighters conduct work in a damaged building after Russian missile attack in Zaporizhzhia
Russia pounded cities across Ukraine, including ZaporizhzhiaImage: Jose Colon/AA/picture alliance

G7 holds crisis talks on Russian missile attacks

Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) nations on Tuesday condemned Russian leader Vladimir Putin's nuclear rhetoric and Moscow's latest missile attacks on Ukrainian cities.

Leaders said they would hold Putin to account for the attacks, and that any use of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons would be met with severe consequences.

"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 in a statement. We will hold President Putin and those responsible to account."

"We deplore deliberate Russian escalatory steps, including the partial mobilization of reservists and irresponsible nuclear rhetoric, which is putting global peace and security at risk. We reaffirm that any use of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons by Russia would be met with severe consequences," the statement said.

The G7 leaders also issued a warning to Belarus after the country's leader Alexander Lukashenko announced plans to deploy joint forces with Russia.

"The announcement of a joint military group with Russia constitutes the most recent example of the Belarusian regime's complicity with Russia," the statement read, urging the "Lukashenko regime to fully abide by its obligations under international law."

The urgent meeting, which was attended remotely by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, came a day after more than 80 Russian missiles rocked Ukrainian cities and struck the center of Kyiv for the first time in months. The attacks left at least 19 dead and 105 injured, according to Ukrainian officials.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Zelenskyy could count on the "solidarity of Germany and the other G7 states," and agreed on holding the emergency G7 meeting after the two leaders spoke Monday. Germany currently holds the G7's rotating presidency.

The White House said US President Joe Biden had spoken with Zelenskyy and promised to send advanced air defense systems to Ukraine. Germany has also said it would deliver the first of four air defense systems.

Here's more news concerning Russia's war on Ukraine from Tuesday, October 11:

Yellen urges allies to quickly disburse the promised funds to Ukraine

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said it was critical that international partners join the United States in supporting Ukraine, and called on partners and allies to swiftly disburse their existing commitments and to step up and do more.

"Two weeks ago, Congress passed $4.5 billion in direct budget support for Ukraine, which I'm pleased to announce the United States intends to disburse to the Ukrainian government in the coming weeks," Yellen said at the start of a meeting with Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko and a delegation of senior Ukrainian officials.

"We're committed to getting these funds to you as soon as possible," she added.

Zelenskyy urges UNESCO cultural protection for Odesa

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy officially requested that UNESCO add the historic port city of Odesa to its World Heritage List in a bid to protect it from Russian air strikes.

"We must provide a clear signal that the world will not turn a blind eye to the destruction of our common history, our common culture, our common heritage," Zelenskyy told the 58 member states of the UN's cultural watchdog in a pre-recorded video.

"One of the steps for this should be the preservation of the historical center of Odesa — a beautiful city, an important port of the Black Sea and a source of culture for millions of people in different countries," he said.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Odesa has been bombed several times.

The UN cultural agency said Ukraine's request would be reviewed during the next World Heritage Committee meeting, without giving a date.

Ukraine says dozens of bodies exhumed in recaptured Donetsk towns

Ukraine said that it had recovered the remains of dozens of civilians killed during Russia's invasion in two towns in the eastern Donetsk region recently recaptured from Moscow's forces.

"In the liberated towns of Sviatohirsk and Lyman, law enforcement officers discovered the sites of mass burials of civilians," the prosecutor general said in a statement.

In Sviatohirsk, the remains of 34 people were exhumed. "The burnt bodies of two more citizens were found in the car, their identities are currently being established," the statement said.

In a cemetery in Lyman, authorities found around 110 graves, the prosecutor's office said. "The youngest person is only one year old. She is buried next to the whole of her family," it added. So far, 44 remains have been exhumed in Lyman.

Ukraine has accused Russian forces of sweeping abuses after discovering numerous mass burial sites and graves of killed civilians or victims bearing of torture or summary execution in retaken territory.

Putin tells IAEA's Grossi Moscow is 'open to dialogue'

Meeting with Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the situation around the Russian-controlled Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine was "worrying".

At a meeting, shown on Russian state television, Putin also told Grossi that Russia was open for dialogue on Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and would discuss all issues concerning the facility's operations.

According to IAEA, the meeting was part of the IAEA’s efforts to prevent a nuclear accident, and Grossi stressed the urgent need to establish a safety and security protection zone around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. 

"We can’t afford to lose any more time. The stakes are high. We must do everything in our power to help ensure that a nuclear accident does not happen during this tragic conflict, as it could cause even more hardship and suffering in Ukraine and beyond," Grossi said.

A statement by the IAEA  said that Grossi was due to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv "later this week" for further talks regarding Europe's biggest nuclear power plant. 

Missile strikes hit Zaporizhzhia, Lviv, Dnipropetrovsk

A school, a medical facility and residential buildings in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia were hit by a round of missile strikes on Tuesday, according to city council secretary Anatoliy Kurtev.

Ukraine's State Emergency Service said at least one person was killed after 12 missiles struck public facilities in Zaporizhzhia.

In the western city of Lviv, Mayor Andriy Sadovyi said a Russian missile strike Tuesday hit three energy facilities, knocking out power to the city. No casualties were immediately reported.

Valentyn Reznichenko, regional governor of the central Ukraine region of Dnipropetrovsk, said Russian missile strikes on energy infrastructure in the Pavlohrad and Kamianka districts did did "serious" damage to energy facilities.

"Many settlements still do not have electricity," he said, adding that the region will implement an energy saving plan and urged residents to conserve electricity.

Russia's Defense Ministry said its forces carried out new strikes Tuesday targeting "military command facilities and the energy system of Ukraine," using "high-precision, long-rage...weapons."

A damaged car under rubble
Authorities in Zaporizhzhia said one person was killed TuesdayImage: Leo Correa/AP/picture alliance

Air raid warnings issued across Ukraine

Ukraine's emergency services put the entire country on alert Tuesday morning, warning of a "high probability of missile strikes."

"Please remain in shelters for your own safety, do not ignore air raid signals," it said on the Telegram messaging app.

DW correspondent Fanny Facsar in Kyiv said Ukrainian authorities sent an air raid alert warning people to take shelter Tuesday morning as more missile strikes are expected.

"People are trying to come up with a plan of what to do, as things have become quite uncertain here in the capital," she said.

After Kyiv was hit by missile fire for the first time in months yesterday, "people take these air raid alerts more seriously than they did in the past," she added. "This makes me recall the early days of the war."

Kyiv residents angry and worried: Fanny Facsar reports

Ukraine calls for electricity-saving plan

Ukrainians are being asked to limit their electricity consumption after Russian missile strikes badly damaged energy facilities.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal on Tuesday said electricity consumption should be limited between peak hours in the evening.

Shmyhal added that on Monday Ukrainians voluntarily reduced their electricity consumption by an average of 10%, and that nearly 4,000 localities were without power because of the missile attacks.

"However, energy workers and rescuers have managed to restore power to most regions. Electricity supply in western regions has stabilized, Kharkiv and Kharkiv region are almost fully online," Shmyhal wrote on Telegram.

OSCE condemns Russian missile strikes as 'terror'

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said Russian missile strikes on major Ukrainian cities amounted to "terror" that violates international law.

"These heinous military actions represent a total disrespect and breach of international law, including humanitarian law," a statement by OSCE leaders said.

"The only reason behind these brutal and cruel acts is to spread terror and to compensate for failures in achieving tactical and strategic goals," it said.

Russia is one of the 57 member states of the organization.

The OSCE had for years monitored a cease-fire between Kyiv and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. OSCE monitors withdrew after Russia's invasion in February.

UN rejects Russian call for secret vote

The United Nations General Assembly rejected Moscow's call for a secret ballot vote of a draft resolution condemning Russia's annexation of four Ukrainian regions.

Of 193 members,107 voted against a secret ballot on a draft resolution. Thirteen countries voted in favor of Russia's motion while 39 abstained.

Moscow had argued that Western lobbying made it so that "it may be very difficult if positions are expressed publicly."

Russian strikes could cause 'displacements' — UN refugee agency

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi warned that more people could be forced to leave their homes following a wave of Russian strikes on a number of major Ukrainian cities.

"The horror of what happened in Ukraine today ... is inexcusable," Grandi said.

"The bombing of civilians, of houses, ... of non-military infrastructure in an indiscriminate manner in many cities across Ukraine means the war is becoming harder and more difficult for civilians," he said.

He added that he feared the strikes could "provoke more displacements" in Ukraine. The UN refugee chief said that he expected most to qualify as internally displaced in Ukraine.

Grandi said that the situation in Ukraine was "very fluid," as many refugees try to return home after fleeing. He said that displacements could last longer in places that saw substantial destruction or where residents don't have access to heat or food.

wmr,sdi/fb (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)