On Monday, June 27, Russia carried out one of its most horrific attacks yet in Ukraine. An airstrike killed at least twenty people at the Amstor shopping mall in the province of Poltava. Per CNBC, the weapons used are thought to be antiquated KH-22 missiles. Russia has stated it was not aiming for the mall but a nearby depot allegedly containing Western-provided armaments.
The tragic incident happened while world leaders were meeting at the G-7 summit in Germany. On Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron called the attack a “new war crime.” Per USA Today, he pledged the West’s unwavering support for Ukraine and declared that Russia “cannot and should not” win the war.
President Zelensky of Ukraine named the airstrike “a defiant act of terrorism” and noted it was just part of an unusually ruthless attack. He has asked the United Nations to create an international tribunal to evaluate Russia’s activity in his country.
The missiles thought to have been used in the airstrike are USSR-era anti-ship munitions first used in the 1960s. Military analysts feel that Russia is running low on modern weapons; hence, they are using older and less accurate ones. On Wednesday, June 29, the Ukrainian government released dramatic footage of the missile impacting the shopping mall. The video was captured by a nearby machinery plant and broadcast with President Zelensky’s nightly address on Tuesday.
If Russia is indeed utilizing older weapons that do not have precise striking capabilities, the UK defense ministry has predicted that civilian casualties will increase. This was demonstrated with Monday’s events, which we will likely see repeated if Russian attacks strike inaccurate targets.
Addressing the current NATO summit via video, Zelensky warned that Russia is a potential threat to other allied countries. He pleaded with leaders to “look at Ukraine; it can lead to your nation,” further adding that Russian forces “destroy everything.”