Elmau Castle, Germany and Kyiv, Ukraine — Senior Biden administration officials have confirmed to CBS News that the White House is planning to announce this week the purchase of an advanced medium- to long-range surface-to-air missile defense system for Ukraine. CBS News correspondent Ed O’Keefe said Washington was expected to promise more artillery shells and radar systems, too, as it tries to meet the urgent requests coming from Ukraine’s leaders.
Mr. Biden and his fellow G7 leaders, meeting Monday in Germany, were likely to hear a fresh appeal from Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy, who was to address them virtually from Kyiv. He told his own country on Sunday night, in a daily video address, that Ukraine needed military, financial and humanitarian assistance immediately to fight back against Russia’s invasion.
As CBS News correspondent Ramy Inocencio reports from the Ukrainian capital, Russia shattered weeks of relative calm in Kyiv by firing a volley of long-range missiles at the city early Sunday morning. It was an apparent show-of-force by the Kremlin as the Western leaders gathered in Germany to strengthen their military and economic support for Ukraine.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said the Russian missiles hit at least two residential buildings, and Zelenskyy said in his Sunday night address that a 37-year-old man was killed and his 7-year-old daughter and wife — a Russian national — were injured.
Arriving in Germany for the G7, Mr. Biden called the attacks “barbarism.”
Zelenskyy mocked Russia’s military in his speech, saying it had “bravely defeated a kindergarten and an apartment building,” before lauding his own country’s defenders and warning his American and European allies that “the future of Europe” — not just Ukraine, was being decided.
“The G7 leaders that gathered in Germany today for a summit combined have enough power to stop Russian aggression against Ukraine and Europe as a whole,” Zelenskyy said. “But it is only possible if we receive everything we need within a reasonable timeframe. Weapons, financial aid and sanctions on Russia. There is no alternative in this war.”
The Ukrainian leader said Ukraine’s Western partners “need to move more efficiently if they’re truly our partners and not just observers.”
Inocencio said one of the missiles that struck Kyiv over the weekend hit the roof of an apartment complex that had been struck before, two months ago. He said it was possible that the Russian forces were targeting a Soviet-era arms factory across the street, but the rocket struck the residential building instead.
Zelenskyy said some of the missiles fired by the Russian forces were shot down on Sunday morning, but the first strike against Kyiv in weeks helped him make the case for more modern air defense systems from the international community.
That kind of advanced weaponry has already started to arrive. Video emerged over the weekend showing destroyed military trucks believed to be among the first Russian targets hit by U.S.-supplied, multiple launch guided rocket systems known as HIMARS.
They arrived in Ukraine just days ago, but they came too late to save the eastern city of Severodonetsk.
The key city in the Donbas, Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland, fell to Russia’s invading forces on Saturday, with Ukrainian troops being ordered to pull out.
Russia has slowly been cementing its control over the entire Donbas. With the fall of Sverodonetsk, only one major city remains under Ukrainian control in Luhansk and Donetsk, the two regions that make up the Donbas.
Just across the Siverskyi Donets river from the decimated, now-Russian-held Sverodonetsk, sits Lysychansk.
As Inocencio reports, the fall of the first of the twin cities was both a territorial and a morale hit for Ukraine as the war enters its fifth month, and Zelenskyy and his military commanders know they’ll need all the help they can get from their Western partners meeting this week in Germany if they’re to have any hope of holding onto Lysychansk.