After a series of devastating Russian airstrikes targeting Ukrainian civilian areas on Monday, an emergency virtual meeting was convened by the Group of Seven (G7) leaders on Tuesday, October 11. During this meeting, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the council, urgently requesting increased military assistance to protect his nation.
Over the past two weeks, Russian aerial assaults have resulted in tragic losses, claiming at least 73 lives in and around the city of Zaporizhzhia in southern Ukraine, with more than 200 people sustaining injuries as a result of these attacks. The city has experienced almost nightly bombings over the past week, with a recent strike tragically targeting a school, a car dealership, and a medical facility, leading to the loss of five lives.
In his address, President Zelensky emphasized the unpredictable nature of Russian missile targets, stating, “We cannot foresee who or what will be in the crosshairs of Russian missiles.” To counter these destructive attacks, he stressed Ukraine’s urgent need for a substantial supply of “advanced and efficient air defense systems.” Specifically, Zelensky sought equipment capable of defending his country against Shahed-136 drones. Ukrainian intelligence reports indicate that Russia has acquired 2,400 of these “kamikaze” weapons from Iran, which pose a significant threat to ground targets.
The G7 leaders pledged unwavering and resolute support for Ukraine, encompassing both military and financial aid. Furthermore, the council assured President Zelensky that Russia would face “severe repercussions” if it were to employ biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons. NATO is diligently monitoring Russian nuclear activities and has not detected any unusual changes in behavior. However, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s Secretary-General, confirmed that a nuclear deterrent exercise would proceed as scheduled the following week, emphasizing that canceling it would convey “entirely the wrong message” to Moscow.
In addition to his plea for increased support for Ukraine, President Zelensky officially submitted a bid to designate the beleaguered city of Odesa as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. He passionately advocated for this distinction, underscoring the importance of sending a clear message that the world would not ignore the destruction of their shared history, culture, and heritage.