News Brief

'Huge Disappointment, Devastating Blow To Peace Efforts': Ukraine's Zelenskyy On Modi-Putin Meet In Moscow

Kuldeep Negi

Jul 09, 2024, 03:41 PM | Updated 03:41 PM IST

PM Modi and President Putin
PM Modi and President Putin

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has expressed strong "disappointment" after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

Calling it a "devastating blow to peace efforts," Zelenskyy condemned the timing of the meeting amid a deadly missile strike on a children's hospital in Kyiv.

"In Ukraine today, 37 people were killed, three of whom were children, and 170 were injured, including 13 children, as a result of Russia’s brutal missile strike. A Russian missile struck the largest children's hospital in Ukraine, targeting young cancer patients. Many were buried under the rubble," Zelenskyy said in a post on X.

"It is a huge disappointment and a devastating blow to peace efforts to see the leader of the world's largest democracy hug the world's most bloody criminal in Moscow on such a day," he added.

PM Modi, who is on a two-day visit to Moscow, reportedly discussed a range of issues with Putin on Monday (8 July).

Addressing the Indian diaspora on Tuesday, Modi called Russia "India's all-weather and reliable friend", and also hailed his "friend" Putin in working towards the partnership between the two countries.

The leaders are set to hold further talks at the 22nd India-Russia annual summit on Tuesday, where the Indian side will reportedly convey to the Russians that “a solution cannot be found on the battlefield”, Indian Express reported.

Zelenskyy's remarks follow Russian missile attacks on five Ukrainian cities on Monday, resulting in at least 31 deaths and significant damage to the country's largest children's hospital and other buildings, according to an AP report.

In response, the Kremlin has denied targeting civilian areas. "I insist, we do not conduct strikes on civilian targets," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, as quoted by Reuters.

However, the Ukrainian Security Service said it found fragments of the Russian Kh-101 Kalibr missile at the hospital site.

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Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.

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