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FirstFT: Russian missile hits Ukraine mall as G7 leaders discuss aid

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A Russian missile hit a busy shopping center in central Ukraine on Monday, setting off a fire with the death toll “impossible to imagine,” the country’s president said, describing the attack as an “terrorist” act.

Hours after Volodymyr Zelenskyy pleaded with G7 leaders for more missile defense systems after a series of attacks over the weekend, the president of Ukraine posted a video on Telegram of the missile strike in Kremenchuk, about 320 km southeast of Kiev on the Dnipro River, which showed the mall on fire.

“The occupiers fired rockets at the mall, where more than a thousand civilians were,” Zelenskyy said in the post. “The mall is on fire, rescue workers are fighting the fire, the number of victims is impossible to imagine,” he added.

In a speech Monday night, Zelenskyy said the Russian state had become “the largest terrorist organization in the world”, adding that buying Russian oil and maintaining ties with its financial institutions is “giving money to terrorists”.

Dozens of strikes have shaken Ukrainian cities in recent days, including areas far from frontline fighting, just as leaders of G7 nations began their summit in the German Alps.

At Schloss Elmau, G7 leaders pledged to impose new sanctions on Russia’s ability to import technologies for its arms industry as they pledged to step up their security obligations to Ukraine. The group of seven advanced economies said they would “align and extend targeted sanctions to further restrict Russia’s access to key industrial inputs, services and technologies.”

More from the G7 summit:

© Graphical Climate Change

Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia and here’s the rest of the day’s news – Emily

1. Japan tries to avoid a Tokyo blackout The Japanese government on Monday called on businesses and the public in the Tokyo area to cut electricity consumption, saying a lack of generating capacity could plunge the capital into a blackout. The blackout warning, the second this year, is likely to rekindle the controversial debate over restarting Japan’s nuclear power plants.

2. Trump’s Spac Deal Plans Take A Blow After Subpoenas Donald Trump’s plans to go public with his media company have taken another blow after a federal grand jury issued subpoenas against a blank-check company that is about to merge with Trump Media and Technology Group.

3. Credit Suisse found guilty of errors in Bulgarian drug money Credit Suisse is the first domestic bank to be found guilty of a corporate crime by Swiss authorities after a court found that the lender failed to stop the laundering of Bulgarian drug money. The verdict was handed down Monday in the southern Swiss city of Bellinzona by the country’s highest criminal court

4. Naspers Sells More of Tencent Stake in Share Revival Offer South African internet group Naspers, Tencent’s largest shareholder, has reneged on a pledge not to sell shares in China’s most valuable company, as it seeks to fund a buyback to help its struggling share price.

5. Hajj flights from Israel to Saudi Arabia included in conversations Talks are underway about a deal that would allow Palestinians with Israeli citizenship to fly directly to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj and Umrah religious pilgrimages, according to people familiar with the matter. The initiative is one of many being discussed ahead of US President Joe Biden’s trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia next month.

the next day

Australian Foreign Minister visits Malaysia Penny Wong wants visit Malaysia to meet her counterpart Saifuddin Abdullah, Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and Trade and Industry Minister Azmin Ali. (The diplomat)

NATO meeting Officials will meet in Madrid on Tuesday for three days of talks, including NATO’s expansion in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Yesterday, NATO announced that it will increase its armed forces to 300,000 by more than sevenfold.

Scottish Prime Minister outlines independence plan Nicola Sturgeon is expected to detail how she plans to hold a second independence referendum.

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What else do we read

Xi’s weakening relationship with the middle class After a return to grueling lockdowns under President Xi Jinping’s zero-covid policy, a new trend has emerged: runxue, the study on how to get out of China for good. Caught in a web of unpredictable and chaotic lockdown rules, many Chinese now dream of a permanent escape.

© Chinese image

What’s a good (and bad) way to quit your job? All too often we fail to manage the end of a job properly. The consequences not only affect the person who leaves, but can also adversely affect the staff left behind – and the company itself. Naomi Shragai, a corporate psychotherapist and author, shares her top tips for an amicable outcome.

‘Sanctuary States’ for abortion as US legal battle looms The overthrow of Roe vs Wade led to automatic abortion bans in 13 Republican states, with more expected. Meanwhile, pro-choice lawmakers have proposed or already passed legislation to codify abortion rights and legal protections. The movements contribute to an increasingly complex patchwork of abortion rules in the US based on party lines.

Crypto and Meme Corporate Bonds May Take Their Own Path The crash of some of the stock bubble flag bearers was painful for investors. Less noticed are the losses of their bonds. Such gaps reveal differences in ownership and returns of stocks versus bonds, writes Ellen Carr of Barksdale Investment Management.

Can we avoid disaster, and should we even try? In his book the abyssphilosopher Toby Ord argues that humanity has reached a perilous moment in its existence. One in which it has developed the means to submit to an existential catastrophe, but not yet the wisdom or knowledge to say with certainty that we will avoid it.

Summer reads

Looking for a page turner? Check out our Laura Battle’s top 10 fiction recommendations.

© Cat O’Neil

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