Russia-Ukraine war: what we know on day 124 of the invasion

·4 min read
<span>Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
  • A number of civilians have died and dozens were injured after a missile strike hit a crowded shopping centre in Kremenchuk, a city in central Ukraine on the banks of the Dnipro river. Zelenskiy has said that over 1,000 civilians were in the shopping centre at the time of the strike, where a fire remains raging.

  • Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has virtually addressed the meeting of world leaders at the G7 summit in Germany. He told them he wants the war to be ended by the end of the year before winter sets in, and asked for anti-aircraft defence systems, further sanctions on Russia and security guarantees, as well as help to export grain from Ukraine and for reconstruction aid.

  • Russian-backed separatists said they were pushing into Lysychansk, the last major city still held by Ukrainian troops in eastern Luhansk province. Lysychansk’s twin city of Sievierodonetsk fell on Saturday in a victory for Moscow’s campaign to seize the eastern provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk on behalf of pro-Russian separatists. Serhai Haidai, Ukraine’s governor of Luhansk, has called on civilians to evacuate Lysychansk, saying that the situation is “very difficult”.

  • Russia stepped up air strikes on Ukraine over the weekend, including on the capital of Kyiv, while the strategic eastern city of Sievierodonetsk fell to pro-Russian forces. There had been no major strikes on Kyiv since early June.

  • Zelenskiy said a wounded seven-year-old girl was pulled from the rubble of a nine-storey apartment block in Kyiv. The girl’s father was killed in the strike, he said. “She was not threatened by anything in our country. She was completely safe, until Russia itself decided that everything was equally hostile to them now - women, children, kindergartens, houses, hospitals, railways,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly address.

  • Russia’s defence ministry said that a missile hitting a Kyiv residential building over the weekend could have been the result of a failure of Ukraine’s air defence system. In a statement, the Russian defence ministry said it believes a Ukrainian Buk missile system intercepted a S-300 air defence missile which then “fell down to a residential building”. Russia said all four of its missiles launched against an arms factory in Kyiv hit their target. Moscow has repeatedly denied targeting civilian areas.

  • A 21-year-old woman and a 57-year-old woman died in the Kharkiv region as a result of Russian shelling, according to an update from the regional governor Oleh Synyehubov.

  • Russia has defaulted on its foreign debt for the first time since 1998, according to reports, further alienating the country from the global financial system after sanctions imposed over its war in Ukraine. The country missed a deadline of Sunday night to meet a 30-day grace period on interest payments of $100m on two Eurobonds originally due on 27 May, Bloomberg reported. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russia had made the bond payments due in May but the fact they had been blocked by Euroclear because of western sanctions on Russia was “not our problem”.

  • UK environment secretary George Eustice has said the UK is supporting Ukrainian attempts to form a land bridge to facilitate the export of grain from Ukraine. He also said the UK was investing £1.5m in determining the origins of grain supplies to prevent stolen Ukrainian grain reaching world markets.

  • State and private institutions in Lithuania have been hit by a denial-of-service cyber attack, the Baltic country’s National Cyber Security Centre said in a statement released by the defence ministry.

  • Moldova’s president said during a visit to Ukraine that her country was “fragile and vulnerable” and needed help to remain “part of the free world”. President Maia Sandu visited three towns where Ukraine suspects Russian forces of committing atrocities. “This shouldn’t happen. And, you know, it is heartbreaking to see what we see here and to hear the stories. Ukraine and Moldova need help. We want this war to stop, this Russian aggression against Ukraine to be stopped as soon as possible. We want to stay part of the free world.”

  • The US is likely to announce this week the purchase of an advanced medium- to long-range surface-to-air missile defence system for Ukraine. Washington is also expected to announce other security assistance for Ukraine, including additional artillery ammunition and counter-battery radars to address needs expressed by the Ukrainian military.

  • Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said G7 countries should respond to the latest missile strikes by imposing further sanctions on Russia and providing more heavy weapons to Ukraine.

  • Zelenskiy urged Belarusians to stand in solidarity with Ukraine. “Russian leadership wants to drag you into the Ukraine-Russian war because it doesn’t care about your lives. But you aren’t slaves and can decide your destiny yourself,” Zelenskiy said in a video address to Belarusians.

  • The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, will visit two small former Soviet states in central Asia this week, Russian state television reported on Sunday, in what would be the Russian leader’s first known trip abroad since ordering the invasion of Ukraine. Putin will visit Tajikistan and Turkmenistan and then meet the Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, for talks in Moscow, the report on Rossiya 1 television station said.

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