World leaders condemn Russia’s new attack on Ukraine | Top marks

Several world leaders, including United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and US President Joe Biden, expressed their condemnation and shock as: Russia rained cruise missiles on Ukrainian cities on Monday killing civilians and turning off power in the most widespread airstrikes since the start of the war.

Ukrainian officials said at least 11 people have been killed and dozens injured, while parts of the country are without power.

Here are the highlights:

– In a statement, Biden said these attacks killed and injured civilians and destroyed targets with no military purpose, adding that they once again demonstrate the “utter brutality of Putin’s illegal war against the Ukrainian people.”

– US Secretary of State Antony Blinken Blinken said Moscow’s attacks on Kiev constitute a “profound moral issue” and that the international community has a responsibility to make clear that the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin are unacceptable. “The international community has a responsibility to make it clear that President Putin’s actions are completely unacceptable,” Blinken said in a statement. “Now is the time to speak out for Ukraine; it is not the time for abstentions, soothing words or ambiguities under claims of neutrality. The core principles of the UN Charter are at stake.

Also read | Putin doubles threat in deadly strikes in Ukraine: ‘We will respond’

– The United Nations chief expressed his concern and said that the large-scale missile strikes by Russia were deeply shocking. “As always, citizens pay the highest price,” he added.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement: “This is another unacceptable escalation of the war and, as always, civilians are paying the highest price.”

– Rockets fired at intersections, parks and tourist sites in the capital Kiev, while explosions were reported in Lviv, Ternopil and Zhytomyr in western Ukraine, Dnipro and Kremenchuk in the center, Zaporizhzhya in the south and Kharkov in the east.

– Thousands of residents ran to air raid shelters as the air raid sirens blared all day.

Putin said he ordered the strikes after an attack on the bridge connecting Russia to the annexed Crimean peninsula over the weekend, and threatened more strikes in the future if Ukraine hit Russian territory. “It’s just impossible to leave such actions without reaction,” he said.

Also read | India calls for immediate cessation of hostilities in Ukraine as war toll rises

– Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said: “they are trying to destroy us and wipe us off the face of the earth”. “Such a time and such targets have been specially chosen to inflict as much damage as possible,” he said in a video message filmed on a mobile phone in an empty central street in Kiev.

Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said 11 major infrastructure targets were hit in eight regions, leaving parts of the country without electricity, water or heat, and pledged to restore utilities as soon as possible. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted: “Putin is a terrorist who talks with missiles.”

– In the middle of the morning, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said that Russia had fired 81 cruise missiles and that Ukraine’s air defenses had shot down 43 of them. The Russian Defense Ministry said it had achieved all its intended goals.

Putin’s closest ally, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, said he had ordered troops to deploy alongside Russian troops near Ukraine, whom he accused of planning attacks on Belarus with its Western backers. He allowed Russia to use Belarus as a way station early in the war, but did not send its troops.

(With input from the agency)

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