Volodymyr Zelenskiy will address G7 leaders on Tuesday to demand a significant increase in their military and diplomatic support after the biggest Russian missile attack on Ukrainian cities since the start of the war.
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, described the attack, in which cruise missiles and armed drones rained down on parks, playgrounds, power stations and other civilian targets, as “a profound change in the nature of this war”.
When he speaks to a virtual G7 summit on Tuesday, Zelenskiy will be seeking an equally profound change in western backing, which Kyiv complains has consistently lagged behind Ukraine’s requirements to defend its territory and people.
“We are dealing with terrorists,” the Ukrainian president will say. “They have two targets: energy infrastructure and people.”
Zelenskiy’s wishlist will emphasise anti-aircraft systems, and repeat the longstanding demand for longer-range missiles. Diplomatically, Ukraine wants Russia declared a state sponsor of terrorism, and its isolation underlined in a UN general assembly debate beginning on Monday. The assembly is due to debate Russia’s land-grab in the east and south of Ukraine, which the UK ambassador, Barbara Woodward, described as “the largest forcible annexation attempt since the second world war”.