| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

Russia pounds cities across Ukraine as G20 leaders meet

Russia pounded cities and energy facilities across Ukraine in a new wave of missile strikes on Tuesday as leaders of the Group of 20 nations met in Bali for a summit dominated by Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Missiles rained down on regions and parts of cities including the capital Kyiv, Lviv and Rivne in the west, Kharkiv in the northeast, Kryvyi Rih and Poltava in the centre, Odesa in the south and Zhytomyr in the north.

There was no immediate word of casualties but energy was knocked out on several areas in attacks that began as Western countries at the G20 sought agreement on a statement condemning Russia’s invasion following a video address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said about half of the capital was without electricity and that two residential buildings had been hit in a central area of the city.

A Reuters correspondent who arrived on the scene after the attack said about 15 devastated residents had gathered around the smouldering side of a five-storey apartment block.

“I was in the apartment during the air raid warning. I saw a bright light in my window, and understood that something was coming. Then I heard the sound, as it was nearing,” said Oleksandra, 22, who lives in the apartment block.

“I saw from my window as the rocket was flying, a bright fire, and the sound of something flying very close by. I immediately went outside… I saw people were running out of our building and that there was smoke.”

The mayor of Lviv said power was down in the city and Kharkiv mayor Ihor Terekhov said critical infrastructure facilities had been damaged there.

“There are problems with energy supply. Overground electric transport and the metro have been stopped,” Terekhov wrote on Telegram.

Rivne governor Vitaliy Koval said there had been missile strikes but reported no casualties in his city.

“Russia responds to @Zelenskiy’s powerful speech at #G20 with a new missile attack. Does anyone seriously think that the Kremlin really wants peace? It wants obedience. But at the end of the day, terrorists always lose,” Andriy Yermak, chief of the presidential staff, wrote on Twitter.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba depicted the attacks as Russia’s response to calls for peace talks.

“Russian missiles are killing people and ruining infrastructure across Ukraine right now. This is what Russia has to say on the issue of peace talks. Stop proposing Ukraine to accept Russian ultimatums! This terror can only be stopped with the strength of our weapons & principles,” he wrote on Twitter.

  • Reuters