Russian air strikes hit several locations in Ukraine overnight, including the capital, Kyiv, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived in Japan for a summit of the Group of Seven (G7) leading global economies.
In a post on Twitter shortly after his arrival in the Japanese city of Hiroshima, Zelensky wrote that the summit means “security and enhanced cooperation for our victory.”
“Peace will become closer today,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian military authorities said 18 drones had been shot down over the capital during the night.
“Overnight, the aggressor again carried out a massive drone strike,” wrote Serhiy Popko, the head of Kyiv’s military administration, in a post on Telegram. “All detected air targets were destroyed by … our air defense.”
Falling debris caused a fire in a residential building, but no casualties were reported.
Explosions also rocked the city of Chernihiv, northeast of Kyiv.
Several explosions were reported in the Russian-occupied Azov Sea port city of Mariupol. Russian media reported that the blasts hit the city’s airport.
The Mariupol blasts came on the first anniversary of Russia’s seizure of the city following months of heavy fighting that caused massive damage and loss of life.
On March 16, 2022, Russia bombed a theater in which hundreds of civilians, mostly women and children, were sheltering. Ukrainian officials said at the time that about 300 people were killed in the incident.
In Hiroshima, Zelenskiy will meet with G7 leaders Sunday to discuss the war with Russia and to call for increased military assistance.
On the eve of the summit, U.S. President Joe Biden informed G7 leaders that the United States would aid in efforts by allies to train Ukrainian pilots on advanced F-16 fighter jets. Media reports said the training would likely take place in Europe and begin within weeks.
The training will begin even before decisions are made on when, how many, and which nations will provide the jets for Ukraine, according to U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he welcomed Washington’s move on the training of Ukrainian pilots and tweeted that Britain will “work together with “the Netherlands, Belgium, and Denmark to get Ukraine the combat air capability it needs.”