Attack on Ukrainian supermarket an ‘act of terrorism’ by Vladimir Putin’s military, says UK

·3-min read
Attack on Ukrainian supermarket an ‘act of terrorism’ by Vladimir Putin’s military, says UK

Britain said on Tuesday that a horrific attack on a crowded supermarket in Ukraine was an “act of terrorism” by Vladimir Putin’s forces.

The Government strongly condemned the missile strike on the store in Kremenchuk in central Ukraine where at least 18 people were killed and dozens more wounded.

Chris Philp, Minister for Technology and the Digital Economy, told Sky News: “The attacks that Russia is carrying out on civilian targets, clearly deliberately, are just sickening and appalling.

“We saw the attack on a shopping centre yesterday.

“But it’s not a one off.

“We have seen them over the last three months attacking children’s hospitals, maternity wings, bombing flats.

“There is apparently no end to the barbarity of Putin’s frankly criminal regime.”

Pressed on whether it was an act of terrorism, he added: “Yes, I would go that far and say that it is because it is intentionally targeting civilians.”

President Volodymyr Zelensky said there were 1,000 civilians in the building at the time of the attack.

“The mall is on fire, firefighters are trying to extinguish the fire, the number of victims is impossible to imagine,” the country’s leader said on Telegram.

The mall posed “no danger to the Russian army” and posed “no strategic value” to the Russians, Mr Zelensky added.

He said: “People only wanted to live a normal life, which is what angers the occupiers so much.

“Out of helplessness, Russia continues to hit ordinary people. It is vain to expect it to be reasonable or humane.”

On Monday, in a joint statement, leaders of the G7 who are currently at a summit in Germany, said they “solemnly condemn the abominable attack”.

“We stand united with Ukraine in mourning the innocent victims of this brutal attack.

“Indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians constitute a war crime. Russian President Putin and those responsible will be held to account.

“Today, we underlined our unwavering support for Ukraine in the face of the Russian aggression, an unjustified war of choice that has been raging for 124 days.”

They said they would “continue to provide financial, humanitarian as well as military support for Ukraine, for as long as it takes”.

“We will not rest until Russia ends its cruel and senseless war on Ukraine.”

Ukraine’s air force command said the mall was hit by two long-range X-22 missiles fired from Tu-22M3 bombers that flew from Shaykovka airfield in Russia’s Kaluga region.

Russia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyanskiy, wrote on Twitter, without citing evidence, that the attack was a “Ukrainian provocation.”

Rescuers at the site of a shopping mall hit (Via REUTERS)
Rescuers at the site of a shopping mall hit (Via REUTERS)

“Exactly what Kiev regime needs to keep focus of attention on Ukraine before (the) NATO Summit,” he said, referring to the alliance’s Madrid gathering due to begin on Tuesday

Kremenchuk, an industrial city of 217,000 before Russia’s invasion, is the site of Ukraine’s biggest oil refinery.

Boris Johnson condemned Vladimir Putin’s “cruelty and barbarism” after the attack.

“This appalling attack has shown once again the depths of cruelty and barbarism to which the Russian leader will sink,” he said.

“Once again our thoughts are with the families of innocent victims in Ukraine. Putin must realise that his behaviour will do nothing but strengthen the resolve of the Ukraine and every other G7 country to stand by the Ukraine for as long as it takes.”

It came the day after Russia attacked the Ukrainian capital Kyiv for the first time in weeks, with missiles striking at least two residential buildings.

Mr Zelensky’s office said at least six civilians had been killed and 31 injured as part of intense Russian shelling against various Ukrainian cities over the past 24 hours - including Kyiv and major cities in the country’s south and east.

It said Russian forces fired rockets that killed two people and injured five overnight in and near Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, and continued to target the key southern port of Odesa.

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