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Strikes hit Kyiv; Biden says G-7 will ban Russian gold imports

Rescuers and firefighters work in a damaged Kyiv residential building that was hit by a Russian missile Sunday.
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KYIV, Ukraine — Russian airstrikes early Sunday disrupted a sense of relative calm in Ukraine’s capital since Russian forces withdrew in April and refocused their efforts on other parts of the country. The latest attacks on Kyiv — which hit an apartment block and a kindergarten playground — killed a man and injured his 7-year-old daughter, among several others.

President Biden said the Group of Seven nations will announce an import ban on Russian gold in an attempt to further isolate the country from financial markets and punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for the invasion of Ukraine. Biden, who is in Germany attending a two-day G-7 summit beginning Sunday, said in a tweet that gold is a “major export that rakes in tens of billions of dollars for Russia.”

Russia is attempting to draw Belarus more directly into the war, according to Ukrainian officials, who said Saturday marked the first time that Russia fired missiles from Belarusian airspace. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke directly to Belarusians in his nightly address Sunday, telling them they can refuse to participate in the war. “You are not slaves or cannon fodder,” he said. “You do not have to die. And you can prevent anyone from deciding for you what awaits you next.”

Here’s what else to know

  • G-7 leaders on Sunday reportedly discussed capping the price of Russian oil and gas imports.
  • Despite Moscow’s recent territorial gains in the east, the war could shift back in Kyiv’s favor in the coming months because the Russian military will soon deplete its combat capabilities, Western intelligence assessments and military experts say.
  • Moscow is closing in on the city of Lysychansk, near the strategically important city of Severodonetsk, which Russia captured last week in one of its biggest wins since it launched its offensive in the Donbas region nearly three months ago. If Lysychansk falls, it would give Russia almost complete control of the eastern Luhansk region.
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