G7 condemns Russia for ‘indiscriminate attacks’ on civilian populations

Strikes have hit several cities across Ukraine in retaliation for attack on Crimean bridge

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The leaders of the G7 nations have vowed to hold Russian President Vladimir Putin responsible for a series of missile strikes on civilian populations across Ukraine that have killed at least 11 people.

“We condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms and recall that indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilian populations constitute a war crime,” the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan said in a joint statement.

The strikes came after Russia accused Ukraine of attacking the Kerch Bridge, which connects Russia to Crimea, on Saturday.

An explosion on the bridge left a section of the key transit route connecting Russia and annexed Crimea badly damaged, affecting road and rail traffic.

In the days since, Ukraine has been rocked by strikes in several parts of the country, including on a popular tourist bridge in Kyiv. The strikes, which also hit energy facilities, left many people without power.

Mr Putin said at the opening of a meeting of Russia’s Security Council that “a massive strike was carried out with long-range, high-precision air, sea and land-based weapons on Ukraine's energy, military command and communications facilities”.

The Russian leader vowed a “harsh response” to any more strikes like the one carried out on Kerch Bridge.

Leaders of the G7, a group of the world’s richest countries, spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy by video conference on Tuesday and once again pledged support and military aid.

“We will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military, diplomatic and legal support and will stand firmly with Ukraine for as long as it takes.” the leaders said.

The G7 also blasted Russia’s “attempted annexation” of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions and said they would “never recognise this illegal annexation”.

The UN General Assembly on Wednesday is set to vote on a European-drafted resolution condemning Russia’s annexations of Ukrainian territory.

In a briefing to international media, a western official indicated that more than 100 countries will vote to condemn the annexations.

Updated: October 11, 2022, 6:24 PM