Biden decries ‘barbarism’ after Russia strikes kindergarten in Kyiv

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President Biden on Sunday condemned a Russian missile attack that damaged a kindergarten in Ukraine’s capital city, Kyiv, in advance of two major international summits.

“It’s more of their barbarism,” Biden said at the official welcome of the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Germany.

The timing of the attack is largely seen as a show-of-force in advance of the G7 summit — which gathers leaders of the world’s wealthiest democracies, all of which have all enacted sanctions against Russia for its invasion — and a NATO summit scheduled later in the week.

Kyiv’s mayor said the long-range missiles hit at least two residential buildings, killed at least one person and injured six others, including a 7-year-old girl. The Associated Press saw emergency workers battling flames and rescuing civilians from the buildings.

The blasts came after weeks of calm in Ukraine’s capital as Russia focuses its war efforts in the country’s east.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday made a plea for countries to send Ukraine air defense systems, saying dozens of Russian missiles had struck Ukraine in just the past day.

Russia has largely turned its attention to the Donbas region, where it has apparently captured the city of Sieverodonetsk, according to the U.K. Defense Ministry, in Moscow’s latest conquest after backing separatists in the region for years.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in an interview on CNN that a Russian victory would be “absolutely catastrophic” for the world.

Meanwhile, at a bilateral meeting between Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Sholz on Sunday, Biden noted the unity between NATO and G7 countries in its sweeping response to Russia’s invasion.

“Putin has been counting on, from the beginning, that somehow NATO and the G7 would splinter,” Biden said. “But we haven’t, and we’re not going to.” 

Biden also said on Sunday that the G7 would ban Russian gold imports in efforts to further financially strain the country.

Sholz echoed similar sentiments.

“The good message is that we all made it to stay united, which obviously Putin never expected,” he said.

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