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Biden Offers Alternative to China Development Juggernaut at G7 Summit

This week, the Group of Seven leaders launched a $600 billion global infrastructure initiative they say will compete with China’s Belt and Road Initiative. VOA White House correspondent Anita Powell reports from Telfs, Austria, with reporting from Patsy Widakuswara in Washington.

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Болгарія висилає з країни 70 російських дипломатів

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G-7 Countries Offer Alternative to China’s Development Juggernaut

The world’s wealthiest liberal democracies say they’re offering developing nations $600 billion in infrastructure funding by 2027, providing what they say is a superior alternative to China’s massive, multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

“What we’re doing is fundamentally different because it’s grounded on our shared values of all those representing the countries and organizations behind me,” said U.S. President Joe Biden during remarks in which the seven leaders of those democracies unveiled the proposal at the Group of Seven summit in Germany. “It is built using the global best practices: transparency, partnership, protections for labor and the environment.”

The G-7 plan, called the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, will focus on digital connectivity, gender equity, health security, climate and energy security – areas seen as not yet dominated by China’s investments.

A third of the funding comes from the U.S. and the rest from other wealthy G-7 nations – using modest government investments and establishing high standards designed to leverage private sector financing.

The initiative is a relaunch of the Build Back Better World plan, announced by G-7 leaders last year.

“The West had really been asleep at the wheel for a number of years on this use of connectivity – infrastructure connectivity as a means of extending foreign policy influence,” said Dan Hamilton, non-resident senior fellow at Brookings. “And so they are now coming together on a united project to sort of push this.”

Billed as better than China’s Belt and Road

It’s billed as a better alternative than China’s Belt and Road, which has been criticized as “debt-trap diplomacy” that Beijing employs to expand its influence.

Beijing slammed the initiative as a “zero-sum game approach.”

“We oppose the moves that advance geopolitical calculations and smear the Belt and Road Initiative in the name of promoting infrastructure development,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian.

While the G-7 is focusing on areas where China isn’t so dominant, meeting Western environmental and labor standards may prove challenging for some developing countries.

“Due to the level of ease of Chinese investments – these are often quite attractive, because at the end of the day when you’re a developing country, you want the infrastructure now,” said Lucas Myers, program coordinator and associate for Southeast Asia at the Wilson Center’s Asia Program.

Robert Daly, director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Wilson Center, told VOA that for the leading elites in some countries, China still offers a better deal.

“They’ll give you money now to elites in countries that can’t find any loans from any other sources,” he said. “Many of these countries have weak governance and are prone to elite capture, which is polite terminology for corruption. And China can get a road built, an airport built now, without the moral lectures that tend to come with Western lending, when Western lending is available at all.”

But, he said, China’s official policy of non-interference only goes so far when it comes to development.

“China likes to say that it does its lending, and it conducts its foreign policy, without interfering in other countries’ internal affairs,” he said. “But what China is finding is that development is interference. You don’t get a choice about that when you get involved in development. You pick sides politically, you pick winners and losers, you offend traditionalists, as the United States has, you tend to get in bed with elites who you don’t understand and whose reputations you don’t understand.”

Hamilton, of Brookings as well as a professor at Johns Hopkins University, told VOA that Western nations have tried something like this before – and it hasn’t come to much.

“One has to keep in mind, however, that last year they announced something very similar,” he said. “The EU had a Global Gateway initiative which really hasn’t amounted to a whole lot despite a lot of headlines … So one has to look hard at the real numbers rather than monies that are shifted around that are already there. We’ll have to see. It requires a really sustained effort on the part of these countries to help build infrastructure connectivity projects with, you know, weaker countries, more fragile countries across Asia at the same time that the Chinese are offering countering possibilities.”

In the nine years since it was launched, nearly 150 countries have signed up for China’s BRI – so far totaling more than 2,600 projects with a combined value of $3.7 trillion, according to data analysis firm Refinitiv.

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German Court Gives 101-year-old Ex-Nazi Guard Five Years in Jail

A German court on Tuesday handed a five-year jail sentence to a 101-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard, the oldest person to go on trial for complicity in war crimes during the Holocaust. 

Josef Schuetz was found guilty of being an accessory to murder in at least 3,500 cases while working as a prison guard at the Sachsenhausen camp in Oranienburg, north of Berlin, from 1942 to 1945. 

Given his age, Schuetz is highly unlikely to be put behind bars.

The pensioner, who now lives in Brandenburg state, had pleaded innocent, saying he did “absolutely nothing” and had not even worked at the camp. 

“I don’t know why I am here,” he said at the close of his trial Monday. 

But presiding judge Udo Lechtermann said he was convinced Schuetz had worked at Sachsenhausen and had “supported” the atrocities committed there. 

“For three years, you watched prisoners being tortured and killed before your eyes,” Lechtermann said. 

“Due to your position on the watchtower of the concentration camp, you constantly had the smoke of the crematorium in your nose,” he said. “Anyone who tried to escape from the camp was shot. So every guard was actively involved in these murders.” 

More than 200,000 people, including Jews, Roma, gays and regime opponents, were detained at the Sachsenhausen camp from 1936 to 1945. 

Tens of thousands of inmates died from forced labor, murder, medical experiments, hunger or disease before the camp was liberated by Soviet troops, according to the Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum. 

Contradictory statements 

Schuetz, who was 21 when he began working at the camp, remained blank-faced as the court announced his sentence. 

“I am ready,” said Sc

huetz when he, dressed in a gray shirt and striped trousers, entered the courtroom in a wheelchair.

Schuetz was not detained during the trial, which began in 2021 but was postponed several times because of his health. 

His lawyer, Stefan Waterkamp, told AFP he would appeal, meaning the sentence will not be enforced until 2023 at the earliest. 

Thomas Walther, the lawyer who represented 11 of the 16 civil parties in the trial, said the sentencing had met their expectations and “justice has been served.” 

But Antoine Grumbach, 80, whose father died in Sachsenhausen, said he could “never forgive” Schuetz as “any human being facing atrocities has a duty to oppose them.” 

During the trial, Schuetz had made several inconsistent statements about his past, complaining that his head was getting “mixed up.” 

At one point, the centenarian said he had worked as an agricultural laborer in Germany for most of World War II, a claim contradicted by several historical documents bearing his name, date and place of birth. 

‘Warning to perpetrators’ 

After the war, Schuetz was transferred to a prison camp in Russia before returning to Germany, where he worked as a farmer and a locksmith. 

More than seven decades after World War II, German prosecutors are racing to bring the last surviving Nazi perpetrators to justice. 

The 2011 conviction of former guard John Demjanjuk on the basis that he served as part of Hitler’s killing machine, set a legal precedent and paved the way for several of these justice cases. 

Since then, courts have handed down several guilty verdicts on those grounds rather than for murders or atrocities directly linked to the individual accused. 

Among those brought to late justice were Oskar Groening, an accountant at Auschwitz, and Reinhold Hanning, a former SS guard at Auschwitz. 

Both were convicted at the age of 94 of complicity in mass murder but died before they could be imprisoned. 

However, Schuetz’s five-year sentence is the longest handed to a defendant in such a case. 

Guillaume Mouralis, a research professor at France’s National Centre for Scientific Research, told AFP the verdict was “a warning to the perpetrators of mass crimes: whatever their level of responsibility, there is still legal liability.”

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Зеленський – Радбезу: російську делегацію потрібно позбавити можливості маніпулювати ООН

Президент України Володимир Зеленський закликає позбавити російську делегацію можливості маніпулювати ООН.

«Статут ООН дає всі важелі, щоб вплинути на будь-якого порушника правил організації, на будь-якого агресора, на будь-яку державу терориста. Я закликаю вас скористатися цими важелями. Обов’язково. Обов’язково позбавити російську делегацію можливості маніпулювати ООН. Обов’язково робити неможливим перебування Росії в Радбезі, поки її терор продовжується», – сказав Зеленський, виступаючи на спеціально скликаному засіданні Ради безпеки ООН.

Президент наголошує, що усі дії Росії потрібні отримати юридичну оцінку.

«Обов’язково створити трибунал для розслідування усього, що наробили російські військові проти українців. І обов’язково на рівні ООН дати визначення поняттю державний тероризм. Усі дії Росії потрібні отримати юридичну оцінку. Глобальні санкції за те, що вона руйнує міжнародний правопорядок», – додав він.

Володимир Зеленський 5 квітня на засіданні Радбезу ООН заявив, що Росію треба усунути від блокування рішень Ради безпеки ООН щодо російської агресії, інакше організація має саморозпуститися. Однак Росія досі представлена в структурах організації. 

 Але 7 квітня Генеральна асамблея ООН призупинила роботу Росії у Раді з прав людини. З ініціативою виключення Росії з цієї структури ООН виступили Британія і США після повідомлень про те, що російські військові вбили сотні цивільних жителів у Бучі на Київщині.

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Finland, Sweden on Path to NATO Membership as Turkey Drops Veto

NATO ally Turkey lifted its veto over Finland and Sweden’s bid to join the Western alliance on Tuesday after the three nations agreed to protect each other’s security, ending a weeks-long drama that tested allied unity against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The breakthrough came after four hours of talks just before a NATO summit began in Madrid, averting an embarrassing impasse at the gathering of 30 leaders that aims to show resolve against Russia, now seen by the U.S.-led alliance as a direct security threat rather than a possible adversary.

It means Helsinki and Stockholm can proceed with their application to join the nuclear-armed alliance, cementing what is set to be the biggest shift in European security in decades, as the two, long neutral Nordic countries seek NATO protection.

“Our foreign ministers signed a trilateral memorandum which confirms that Turkey will … support the invitation of Finland and Sweden to become members of NATO,” Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said in a statement.

“The concrete steps of our accession to NATO will be agreed by the NATO allies during the next two days, but that decision is now imminent,” Niinisto said.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Turkey’s presidency confirmed the accord in separate statements, after talks between the NATO chief, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Niinisto.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted, “Fantastic news as we kick off the NATO summit. Sweden and Finland’s membership will make our brilliant alliance stronger and safer.”

Stoltenberg said NATO’s 30 leaders would now invite Finland, which shares a 1,300 km border with Russia, and Sweden to join NATO, and that they would become official “invitees.”

“The door is open. The joining of Finland and Sweden into NATO will take place,” Stoltenberg said.

However, even with a formal invitation granted, NATO’s 30 allied parliaments must ratify the decision by leaders, a process that could take up to a year.

Terms of the deal

Turkey’s main demands, which came as a surprise to NATO allies in May, were for the Nordic countries to stop supporting Kurdish militant groups present on their territory and to lift their bans on some sales of arms to Turkey.

Stoltenberg said the terms of the deal involved Sweden intensifying work on Turkish extradition requests of suspected militants and amending Swedish and Finnish law to toughen their approach to them.

Stoltenberg said Sweden and Finland would lift their restrictions on selling weapons to Turkey.

Turkey has raised serious concerns that Sweden has been harboring what it says are militants from the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984. Stockholm denies the accusation.

The Turkish presidency statement said the four-way agreement reached on Tuesday meant “full cooperation with Turkey in the fight against the PKK and its affiliates.”

It also said Sweden and Finland were “demonstrating solidarity with Turkey in the fight against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.”

U.S. President Joe Biden, who arrived in Madrid before a dinner with his fellow NATO leaders, did not directly address the issue in his public comments with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and King Felipe of Spain.

But he stressed the unity of the alliance, saying NATO was “as galvanized as I believe it’s ever been.”

Biden is to have a meeting with Erdogan during the NATO summit. Erdogan said before leaving for Madrid that he would push Biden on an F-16 fighter jet purchase.

He said he would discuss with Biden the issue of Ankara’s procurement of S-400 air defense systems from Russia which led to U.S. sanctions as well as modernization kits from Washington and other bilateral issues.

The resolution of the deadlock marked a triumph for intense diplomacy as NATO allies try to seal the Nordic accession in record time as a way of solidifying their response to Russia — particularly in the Baltic Sea, where Finnish and Swedish membership would give the alliance military superiority.

In the wider Nordic region, Norway, Denmark and the three Baltic states are already NATO members. Russia’s war in Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation,” helped overturn decades of Swedish opposition to joining NATO.

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Сумщина сьогодні потерпала від російських авіаударів, «Градів» і артилерії, є жертви – ОВА

Внаслідок російських обстрілів Сумщини загинули дві людини, ще троє поранені, повідомив голова обласної військової адміністрації Дмитро Живицький.

«Після десятої ранку ворог почав зухвало обстрілювати Краснопільщину та окремі населені пункти Великописарівської громади. Були авіаційні обстріли: росіяни запустили близько 20 ракет з гелікоптерів, які не перетинали лінію державного кордону. Усі прильоти – Краснопільська та Миропільська громади», – написав він у телеграмі.

За його даними, після 11:00 війська РФ відкрили вогонь з реактивних систем залпового вогню «Град», 30 «прильотів» по Краснопільщині.

Живицький повідомив, що потім війська РФ населені пункти Краснопільської громади обстрілювали з артилерії, кулеметів, станкового гранатомету, а ввечері знову застосували РСЗВ.

«Після 18:00 – ще 40 та ще 12 ударів – з реактивних систем залпового вогню по різним населеним пунктам громади», – додав він.

Також, за даними голови ОВА, 28 червня на одне із сіл Великописарівської громади безпілотник скинув вибуховий пристрій.

Російське масштабне військове вторгнення в Україну триває від ранку 24 лютого. Російські війська завдають авіаударів по ключових об’єктах військової та цивільної інфраструктури, руйнуючи аеродроми, військові частини, нафтобази, заправки, церкви, школи та лікарні.

Росія заперечує, що веде проти України загарбницьку війну на її території та називає це «спеціальною операцію», яка має на меті «демілітаризацію і денацифікацію», а також «захист людей від геноциду».

Управління Верховного комісара ООН із прав людини станом на північ 26 червня змогло підтвердити 4731 випадок загибелі, 5900 – поранення цивільних людей в Україні через повномасштабну війну, розпочату Росією. При цьому в організації наголошують, що реальні цифри – значно вищі.

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US Accuses 5 Firms in China of Supporting Russia’s Military

President Joe Biden’s administration added five companies in China to a trade blacklist on Tuesday for allegedly supporting Russia’s military and defense industrial base, flexing its muscle to enforce sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

The Commerce Department, which oversees the trade blacklist, said the targeted companies had supplied items to Russian “entities of concern” before the February 24 invasion, adding that they “continue to contract to supply Russian entity listed and sanctioned parties.”

The agency also added an additional 31 entities to the blacklist from countries including Russia, UAE, Lithuania, Pakistan, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Uzbekistan and Vietnam, according to the Federal Register entry. However, of the 36 total companies added, 25 had China-based operations.

“Today’s action sends a powerful message to entities and individuals across the globe that if they seek to support Russia, the United States will cut them off as well,” Undersecretary of Commerce for Industry and Security Alan Estevez said in a statement.

The Chinese embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Three of the companies in China accused of aiding the Russian military, Connec Electronic Ltd., Hong Kong-based World Jetta, and Logistics Limited, could not be reached for comment. The other two, King Pai Technology Co., Ltd and Winninc Electronic did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Hong Kong is considered part of China for purposes of U.S. export controls since Beijing’s crackdown on the city’s autonomy.

Blacklisting of firms means their U.S. suppliers need a Commerce Department license before they can ship to them.

The United States has set out with allies to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for the invasion, which Moscow calls a “special operation,” by sanctioning a raft of Russian companies and oligarchs and adding others to a trade blacklist. 

While U.S. officials had previously said that China was generally complying with the restrictions, Washington has vowed to closely monitor compliance and rigorously enforce the regulations.

“We will not hesitate to act, regardless of where a party is located, if they are violating U.S. law,” Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Thea Rozman Kendler said in the same statement.

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Щоб статут ООН працював і його поважали, Росію потрібно виключити з Радбезу – Зеленський

«Цей шлях не занадто тернистий, якщо виявити послідовність і належну політичну волю»

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Війська РФ випустили шість ракет по Дніпропетровщині – влада уточнила наслідки «прильотів»

За даними командування Повітряних сил ЗСУ, російські війська завдали удару ракетами «Калібр» з акваторії Чорного моря

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Ракетний удар по Кременчуку: понад 600 людей продовжують розбирати завали – ДСНС

Наразі обстежили та розібрали уламки будівельних конструкцій на 70% загальної площі ТРЦ

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NATO Leaders Arrive in Madrid For Crucial Summit On Countering Russia, China

NATO leaders began arriving in Madrid Tuesday for a crucial summit on the alliance’s future – dominated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the threat Moscow poses to the West. Henry Ridgwell reports from the Spanish capital.

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As Key French Terror Trial Ends, Europe Faces New Security Landscape 

One of France’s most high-profile trials in history wraps up this week amid a sharply changing security landscape across Europe, where the war in Ukraine and far-right violence have reshaped threat perceptions once dominated by Islamist extremism.

Verdicts are expected Wednesday in Paris, where 20 men stand accused of being involved in the November 2015 Islamic State attacks around the French capital in which 130 people were killed and hundreds more wounded.

Top defendant Salah Abdeslam, considered the lone surviving attacker, has captured news headlines throughout the months-long trial. He risks life without parole, France’s toughest sentence.

Since opening last September, the trial has revived memories of Islamist violence that spiraled across Europe and the Middle East a few years ago, when IS controlled a swath of Iraq and Syria, and French and other fighters were recruited to join its ranks and sow chaos at home.

But today, the IS caliphate has collapsed. Jihadi violence has dispersed, transformed and migrated to sub-Saharan Africa. Meanwhile, other security threats are on the rise in Europe, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine marking the newest and possibly most significant change, analysts say.

“After the war on terror that has dominated the last 20 years, there is a return to the politics of great power rivalries, to the more traditional nature of international relations,” said Thomas Renard, director of the International Center for Counter-Terrorism, referring not only to a rising Russia but also China.

“That doesn’t mean terrorism is going to magically disappear,” Renard added, “but it’s going to be a lesser priority, certainly at the international level.”

Across Europe and other Western countries, terrorist attacks declined by more than two-thirds in 2021 from their peak in 2018, according to the Global Terrorism Index that was published in March by the Institute for Economics and Peace. Meanwhile, Africa’s Sahel has become the world’s latest terror hotspot, the index said.

In Europe, politically motivated attacks — driven by far-left and far-right ideologies —have eclipsed Islamist and other religiously driven attacks that once controlled the region’s terrorism landscape, the index found.

“Terrorism is becoming more centered in conflict zones, underpinned by weak governments and political instability,” IEP Executive Chairman Steve Killelea said, adding, “as [the] conflict in Ukraine dominates global attention, it is crucial that the global fight against terrorism is not sidelined.”

Bodies, haunted survivors

A few years ago, there was little chance that terrorism would be sidelined. In January 2015, Paris saw a pair of radicalized brothers and a fellow assailant gun down more than a dozen people in separate attacks targeting the satirical Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a kosher supermarket.

In November of that year, Paris experienced far worse: a bloody bombing and shooting rampage by a French-Belgian IS cell on a balmy Friday night. The extremists targeted young people packing the city’s bars, restaurants, soccer stadium and the Bataclan concert hall, leaving a trail of hundreds of bodies and haunted survivors in its wake.

With police barricading streets around Paris’ main courthouse during the lengthy trial, Abdeslam has been variously contemptuous, defiant and seemingly contrite.

He has apologized to victims, yet maintained allegiance to IS. Abdeslam claimed he chose not to detonate his explosive belt to avoid more carnage. Prosecutors argued instead that the belt malfunctioned.

Many of the 19 remaining defendants also face life sentences for playing key roles in assisting the killers in November 2015. Several have been tried in absentia.

After 2015, Europe experienced dozens of other deadly attacks. The following year saw bombings in Brussels and an attack on a Christmas market in Germany. Terrorists also mowed down pedestrians in the French Riviera city of Nice in July 2016 and on the London Bridge a year later. Among the most horrific incidents was the beheading of a French schoolteacher in a Paris suburb, in October 2020.

Today, experts and state security services worry not only about the potential threat posed by Islamists who have recently been released from European prisons or soon will be, but also other challenges.

“The threat has become more diffuse and more diverse,” Renard said. “We’re no longer confronted with a clear terrorist organization with a clear network of trained individuals. Rather, we’re dealing with a lot of loose individuals, loners, either linked to jihadi or to far-right ideology.”

Russia’s influence in Africa

Russia’s war in Ukraine is also reshaping European security priorities both at home —where the European Union has designated billions of dollars in military aid for Ukraine, and where Baltic states fear they may be next in Moscow’s crosshairs — and in Africa.

In Mali, Russia’s Wagner Group, with its reportedly close ties to the Kremlin, has edged out France and the European Union as the ruling junta’s key partner in its war on terror. Along with fighting the country’s myriad armed groups, Wagner mercenaries are allegedly waging a disinformation war against France and are blamed by rights groups for civilian atrocities.

Russia’s influence and interests extend well beyond Mali, analysts say, with Wagner a potent force in the Central African Republic, and Moscow’s influence expanding in other Sahel countries.

“The EU increasingly understands that its contest with Russia — sparked by [Russian] President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine — is spreading to different theaters, including those in Africa,” European Council on Foreign Relations analysts Andrew Lebovich and Theodore Murphy wrote in a recent commentary.

Their warning — also signaled by France in recent months — is being echoed in other European capitals, including Madrid, ahead of this week’s NATO summit in Spain.

Meanwhile, the war in Ukraine could spin off other security threats, Renard said, pointing to the influx of foreign volunteers joining Ukraine’s side against Russia.

“If this conflict continues over time and loses international attention, you could see some of these battalions splinter and reorganize along more ideological narratives. And that could become another form of terrorist organization,” Renard said.

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Supreme Court Cases That Have Shaped American Life

Since the U.S. Supreme Court first assembled in 1790, it has ruled on tens of thousands of cases. The court’s decisions have defined the country’s legal framework and shaped countless aspects of U.S. society. Here are some cases that had a large impact on American life.

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Zelenskyy Calls for Missile Defense System Ahead of NATO Talks

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Tuesday he stressed the need for a “powerful missile defense system for Ukraine to prevent Russian terrorist attacks” in talks with NATO’s leader. 

The phone call with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg came ahead of the start of a summit of NATO leaders in Madrid where Ukraine is expected to be among the major topics of discussion. 

“At our NATO summit we will step up support for our close partner Ukraine, now and for the longer term,” Stoltenberg tweeted after speaking with Zelenskyy. “NATO allies stand with you.” 

Stoltenberg said Monday that the Western military alliance is declaring a sevenfold increase in the number of its troops on standby alert — from 40,000 to more than 300,000. 

Rescue crews in central Ukraine worked Tuesday to search for survivors at a shopping center where Russian forces carried out a missile strike on Monday, killing at least 18 people. 

Zelenskyy said there were more than 1,000 civilians inside the mall in the city of Kremenchuk at the time of the attack, which he called “calculated.” 

“This is not an accidental hit, this is a calculated Russian strike exactly onto this shopping center,” Zelenskyy said Monday in his nightly video address. He added that the strike “is one of the most daring terrorist attacks in European history.” 

Zelenskyy had said earlier on Telegram that the number of casualties is “impossible to even imagine” and said the shopping center, in a city 300 kilometers southeast of the capital, Kyiv, was “no danger to the Russian army, no strategic value.” 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted, “The world is horrified by Russia’s missile strike today, which hit a crowded Ukrainian shopping mall — the latest in a string of atrocities. We will continue to support our Ukrainian partners and hold Russia, including those responsible for atrocities, to account.” 

U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric called the attack “deplorable” and said the U.N. Security Council would meet Tuesday at Ukraine’s request following the strike. 

Group of Seven 

The missile strike took place as the Group of Seven leading industrialized economies met in Germany’s Bavarian Alps and pledged continued support for Ukraine. 

Leaders from the group called Monday’s missile strike “abominable” and said in a joint statement, “We stand united with Ukraine in mourning the innocent victims of this brutal attack.” 

The United States and the other members of the G-7 on Monday imposed new sanctions against Russia for its four-month invasion of Ukraine. 

These include measures to cut off Moscow from materials and services needed by its industrial and technology sectors. 

The White House said the United States will commit $7.5 billion as part of a G-7 effort to help Ukraine cover its short-term budget needs, and that the governments are making “an unprecedented, long-term security commitment to providing Ukraine with financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support as long as it takes.” 

In a joint communique, the G-7 said, “We remain appalled by and continue to condemn the brutal, unprovoked, unjustifiable and illegal war of aggression against Ukraine by Russia and aided by Belarus. We condemn and will not recognize Russia’s continued attempts to redraw borders by force.” 

Zelenskyy addressed the conference by video link earlier Monday and requested more weapons as well as help exporting grain past Russian blockades. 

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.

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