Ukraine Calls for Isolating Russia After Latest Missile Attacks
Ukrainian officials called for Russia to be isolated from international bodies after Russian forces carried out attacks on infrastructure targets in multiple Ukrainian cities.
Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko said Tuesday Russia should be expelled from the G-20 group of nations and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invitation to this month’s G-20 summit in Indonesia should be revoked.
“Putin publicly acknowledged ordering missile strikes on Ukrainian civilians and energy infrastructure,” Nikolenko tweeted. “With his hands stained in blood, he must not be allowed to sit at the table with world leaders.”
In his nightly address Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia “should have no place” on the U.N. Security Council.
“Terror against Ukrainian energy facilities, moreover against the background of Russia’s attempts to exacerbate the global food crisis, clearly indicates that Russia will continue to oppose itself to the entire international community,” Zelenskyy said.
Ukraine’s army said Russia’s attacks Monday included more than 50 cruise missiles. The strikes cut off water and electricity to much of Kyiv, but Mayor Vitali Klitschko said Tuesday those services had been restored.
Putin said Monday’s attacks were in response to Kyiv allegedly carrying out drone attacks on Russia’s Black Sea fleet.
In response to a journalist who asked if the bombardment was an answer to the recent events on the Black Sea, Putin said, “Partly, yes. But it’s not all we could have done.”
Ukraine has not confirmed or denied attacking the Russian fleet, which Russia cited Saturday as its reason for suspending its participation in a U.N.-led grain initiative.
A senior U.S. military official said the United States is tracking the report of an alleged attack against Russian navy vessels in Sevastopol and said, “We do assess that there were explosions there.”
Putin said Monday that Ukraine fired drones at Russia’s fleet through a zone that was meant to ensure the safety of ships carrying grain.
U.N. aid chief Martin Griffiths told the U.N. Security Council Monday that no ships involved with the U.N. grain deal were in the corridor when the alleged attack took place.
Meanwhile, in an effort to avert world hunger, 12 grain ships sailed from Ukrainian ports, despite Moscow’s pullout from the initiative. They transported 354,500 tons of grain, the most in a day since the program began, suggesting a backlog was being cleared after exports were interrupted Sunday.
However, the transport was again thrown into doubt when Russia’s Defense Ministry said late Monday that it was “unacceptable” for shipping to pass through the Black Sea security corridor.
Lloyd’s of London insurer Ascot has paused insurance for new shipments going through the Ukrainian Black Sea corridor.
“From today, we are pausing on quoting new shipments until we better understand the situation,” Ascot head of cargo Chris McGill said. “Insurance that has already been issued still stands.”
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said Russia’s stopping its participation in the grain initiative is having “immediate, harmful impacts” on global food security.
VOA U.N. correspondent Margaret Besheer contributed to this story. Some information came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.