KEY POINTS

  • Many died in Ukraine Monday after a Russian rocket allegedly struck a crowded mall
  • Zelensky called Russia the “largest terrorist organization in the world"
  • He also urged the UN to investigate "the actions of Russian occupiers on Ukrainian soil"

Just hours after Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of becoming "a terrorist" leading a "terrorist state," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also took a dig at Moscow's leader Tuesday.

Johnson told German broadcaster ZDF there wouldn't have been a war in Ukraine if Putin was a woman, Al Jazeera reported.

“If Putin was a woman, which he obviously isn’t, but if he were, I really don’t think he would’ve embarked on a crazy, macho war of invasion and violence in the way that he has,” Johnson said, adding the invasion of Ukraine is “a perfect example of toxic masculinity."

He also called for better education for girls around the world, and for “more women in positions of power,” Al Jazeera reported.

As the war in Ukraine entered its fifth month, Russian offensive in several parts intensified with scores of civilians dead after a Russian rocket allegedly struck a crowded mall in the city of Kremenchuk. The incident triggered Zelenskyy to call Russia the “largest terrorist organization in the world."

In a virtual address to the UN Security Council, Zelenskyy urged the UN to establish an international tribunal to investigate "the actions of Russian occupiers on Ukrainian soil."

"We need to act urgently to do everything to make Russia stop the killing spree," Zelenskyy said, adding: "Putin has become a terrorist," he said. "Daily terrorist acts, without weekends. Every day they are working as terrorists."

Monday's airstrike on a crowded shopping mall killed at least 18 people and wounded 30 others. "Dozens are missing" and body fragments have been found at the site of the missile strike.

Three people were reported dead Wednesday after a missile strike on a residential building in the city of Mykolaiv. Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych said eight missiles had hit the city. The missile that hit the building was likely a Russian X-55 cruise missile.

Meanwhile, Tuesday, Russia-installed officials in Ukraine’s occupied Kherson region detained the city mayor Ihor Kolykhayev after he refused to follow Moscow’s orders, Reuters reported.

“I can confirm that Kolykhayev was detained by the commandant’s (military police) office,” Ekaterina Gubareva, the Moscow-appointed deputy head of the Kherson region, said on Telegram. Halyna Lyashevska, an adviser to Kolykhayev, said: “This morning, the mayor of Kherson Ihor Kolykhayev came to one of the utility facilities where the remaining employees of the city council were working,” Lyashevska said on her Facebook page. “As soon as he got out of the car, he was immediately detained by the armed national guards and, most likely, the FSB,” she said, referring to Russia’s Federal Security Services.

The Kremlin has postponed Putin's annual direct line phone-in with the Russian people to a later date without explanation
The Kremlin has postponed Putin's annual direct line phone-in with the Russian people to a later date without explanation SPUTNIK via AFP / Mikhail Metzel
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