Russia Ukraine War News Live Updates: Missiles strike Ukraine shopping mall; G7 vows to keep pressure on Russia

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin called a “special military operation” to rid the country of far-right nationalists and ensure Russian security. The war killed thousands, forced millions to flee, and destroyed cities.

During their summit in Germany, G7 leaders, including US President Joe Biden, said they would maintain sanctions against Russia as long as possible and intensify international pressure on President Vladimir Putin’s government and its ally Belarus.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the BBC: “Imagine if we let Putin get away from the path of violent acquisition of huge parts of another sovereign country and an independent territory.”

The United States said it was finalizing another weapons package for Ukraine that would include long-range air defense systems — weapons that Zelensky specifically requested when he addressed leaders via video link on Monday.

US and European officials said that in his address to the G7 leaders, Zelensky again asked for more weapons. Asking for help in exporting grain from Ukraine and imposing further sanctions on Russia.

The G7 countries promised more pressure on Russia’s finances – including an agreement to limit the price of Russian oil that a US official said was “close” – and promised up to an additional $29.5 billion to Ukraine.

“We will continue to provide financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support and stand with Ukraine for as long as possible,” a G7 statement said.

The White House said Russia defaulted on its foreign debt for the first time in more than a century as sweeping sanctions effectively isolated the country from the global financial system.

Russia rejected the claims, asking investors to go to Western financial agents to get the money that was sent but the bondholders did not receive it.

The war caused hardships for countries beyond Europe’s borders, with disruptions to food and energy exports hurting the global economy.

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