Hours after Russia unleashed its biggest aerial attacks on Ukraine that killed at least 14 people across cities, knocked out power and water, and destroyed several buildings, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to strengthen its armed forces. In a late-night address, Zelensky said, “We will do everything to strengthen our armed forces. We will make the battlefield more painful for the enemy.” On Monday, several Russian missiles had hit targets across Ukraine. Explosions were reported in Kyiv, Lviv, Ternopil and Zhytomyr in western Ukraine, Dnipro and Kremenchuk in the centre, Zaporizhzhia in the south and Kharkiv in the east, Ukrainian officials said, reported Reuters. At a UN meeting, Kyiv renounced Russia as a “terrorist state”.
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Here are the top 10 developments in the Russia-Ukraine war amid the latest escalation:
1. According to Ukraine’s state emergency service, a total of 14 people were killed and 97 were injured in Russia’s air strikes on Monday. This came after Russian President Vladimir Putin was reported to have ordered “massive” long-range strikes after accusing Ukraine of an attack on a bridge linking Russia to annexed Crimea on Saturday.
2. Ukraine has vowed to strengthen its armed forces after Russia launched its biggest aerial assaults on cities since the beginning of the war. Zelensky in a late-night address pledged to make “the battlefield more painful for the enemy”.
3. US president Joe Biden and other Group of Seven (G7) leaders are set to hold a virtual meeting on Tuesday to discuss their commitment to support Ukraine and hold Putin accountable for Russia’s aggression, the White House said.
4. According to the White House, Zelensky is set to participate at the top of the meeting on Tuesday along with G7 leaders.
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5. Biden on Monday pledged advanced air defence systems for Kyiv during a call with Zelensky. The White House in a press readout said, “President Joe Biden spoke today with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. He expressed his condemnation of Russia’s missile strikes across Ukraine, including in Kyiv, and conveyed his condolences to the loved ones of those killed and injured in these senseless attacks.” It added, “President Biden pledged to continue providing Ukraine with the support needed to defend itself, including advanced air defence systems”.
6. Biden’s assurance for advanced air defence systems comes as the United States has committed more than USD 15 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since January 2021, according to the US defence department.
7. As Biden pledged air defence systems to Ukraine, Putin threatened more strikes against Ukrainian infrastructure.
8. UK prime minister Liz Truss on Tuesday will tell G7 leaders that they “must not waver one iota” in supporting Ukraine, reported news agency AFP. According to Truss’ office, she will tell her fellow G7 leaders to ‘stay the course’ in Ukraine.
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9. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Monday voted to reject Russia’s call for the 193-member body to hold a secret ballot on whether to condemn Moscow’s move to annex four partially occupied regions in Ukraine.
10. During the UNGA meeting on Monday, Ukraine denounced Russia as a “terrorist state”. Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya said, “Russia has proven once again that this is a terrorist state that must be deterred in the strongest possible ways”.
(With inputs from agencies)