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Ukraine war round-up: Shopping mall attack and stolen grain

By Patrick Jackson
BBC News

  • Published
Media caption,

Flames engulf shopping centre in Ukraine following missile strike

A missile attack blamed on Russia started an inferno in a busy shopping centre in the Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk, killing at least 11 people and injuring at least 50 on Monday.

There was no immediate comment by Russian officials on the attack which a UN spokesman described as "deplorable to say the least". UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of "cruelty and barbarism".

Mr Johnson was attending a G7 summit in Germany where he and the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US pledged to support Ukraine "for as long as it takes" and told Russia it must allow free passage of food from Ukraine.

The British leader compared the war to defeating Nazi Germany in an interview with our Political Editor Chris Mason. Russia has always said it is fighting neo-Nazis in Ukraine - a claim widely dismissed.

In Brussels, Nato announced plans to massively increase the number of its forces at high readiness to over 300,000 troops. The bloc's rapid reaction force currently has 40,000 troops at its disposal, with many of those based along the alliance's eastern flank.

In eastern Ukraine, residents of the besieged city of Lysychansk were ordered to leave by the local governor as Russian forces pushed forward.

Western sanctions continued to hurt Russia which is believed to have defaulted on its debt for the first time since 1998 after missing a key deadline.

And Russia had the money to make a $100m (£81m) payment, which was due on Sunday, but sanctions made it impossible to get the sum to international creditors.

Stolen grain

There is mounting evidence that Russian forces in occupied areas of Ukraine have been systematically stealing grain and other produce from local farmers. The BBC has talked to farmers and analysed satellite images and shipping data to track where the grain is going.

A few dozen miles from the frontline, Ukrainian farmer Dmytro describes how the business he nurtured over 25 years was lost in four months of Russian occupation.

The BBC tried to contact more than 200 farmers whose land is now in Russian-occupied territory. Dmytro - we are not using his real name to protect him from reprisals - was one of the few willing to meet us.

"They stole our grain," he said. "They destroyed our premises, destroyed our equipment."

Finding your home bombed out

BBC'S Olga Malchevska was live on air on the BBC World Service when she saw the first images of her childhood home in the aftermath of a Russian attack.

Media caption,

Watch: BBC journalist Olga Malchevska returns to bombed Kyiv home for the first time

Olga's home was the first one shelled by Russia near Kyiv on 25 February.

She has now returned to see the extent of the damage left behind and the impact on her family and dozens of others living in the large, Soviet-style residential building.

Helping Ukraine through tennis

In England, Anhelina Kalinina says she is being motivated to win at Wimbledon by earning as much money as possible to help people back home survive the war.

Image source, Getty Images

After claiming her first main-draw win at SW19, the Ukrainian player revealed her parents' house in Irpin had been bombed.

"It's hard to focus, but it matters if I win or if I lose," she said.

Kalinina next plays compatriot Lesia Tsurenko, who said they want to remind people "Ukraine is still in trouble".

Russian fashion designers feel sanctions bite

Russia's isolation from the Western fashion world as a result of sanctions concentrated minds at Moscow Fashion Week.

Image source, EPA
Image caption,
A model presents a creation at last week's Moscow Fashion Week

The bloody invasion of Ukraine ordered by President Vladimir Putin on 24 February led to international designers pulling out of Russia in line with the West's general shutdown of ties in outrage at the carnage.

Now Russia's own fashion designers are left wondering how they can stay in business without access to imported materials.

"Our collections are made entirely of foreign materials, that is, there is nothing Russian except for the team," designer Olesya Shipovskaya told the Associated Press. "Everything else, from fusible [materials] to any button, any trim, sewing machines, there is nothing that we produce in our country."

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