G7 leaders pledge to ‘stand firmly with Ukraine’ after Russian attacks

The leaders of the Group of Seven industrialised economies on Tuesday condemned Russia’s continued attacks on civilians in Ukraine “in the strongest possible terms” and stressed that the “indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilian populations” would “constitute a war crime” by Russian forces.

The G7 heads of state and government also said they would “never recognize” Moscow’s “illegal annexation” of Ukrainian territory or “the sham referenda that Russia uses to justify it”. They added that they remained “undeterred and steadfast” in their support for Kyiv and pledged to “stand firmly with Ukraine for as long as it takes” with “financial, humanitarian, military, diplomatic and legal support” until a “postwar settlement” between Moscow and Kyiv can be achieved.

“No country wants peace more than Ukraine, whose people have suffered death, displacement and countless atrocities as the result of Russian aggression,” they said. “In solidarity with Ukraine, the G7 leaders welcome President Zelensky’s readiness for a just peace”.

The leaders statement comes following a roughly 90-minute emergency videoconference that was called after Russian forces unleashed a series of cruise missile attacks against civilian targets in multiple Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv.

Russian officials have said the strikes were in retaliation for Ukrainian intelligence services’ destruction of a Russian-built bridge connecting Russian territory with Crimea, the Ukrainian region which Moscow illegally invaded in 2014.

The cruise missile attacks struck numerous targets during rush hour in Kyiv, causing damage and casualties at such places as a public park, a children’s play area and a pedestrian bridge, with at least eight Ukrainian lives lost.

The attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine drew swift condemnation from world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, who on Monday denounced the attacks for having “killed and injured civilians and destroyed targets with no military purpose” and said they “once again demonstrate the utter brutality” of Moscow’s “illegal war on the Ukrainian people”.

Mr Biden also pledged to provide Kyiv with yet more self-defence support, including “advanced air-defence systems”.

With additional reporting by agencies

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