Exhausted firefighters searched on Tuesday for survivors in the rubble of a Ukrainian shopping mall, where authorities said 36 people were still missing after a Russian missile strike that killed at least 18.
The attack, in the central city of Kremenchuk far from any frontline, drew a wave of global condemnation.
Ukraine said Moscow had killed civilians deliberately. Russia said it had struck an arms depot and falsely claimed the mall was empty.
At a summit in Germany, leaders of the G7 industrialised democracies announced plans to pursue a price cap on Russian oil, a new strategy designed to starve Russia of the resources for war without worsening a global economic crisis.
Relatives of the missing in Kremenchuk were lined up on Tuesday at a hotel across the street from the wreckage of the shopping centre, where rescue workers had set up a base.
Exhausted firefighters sat on a kerb after a night battling the blaze and searching for survivors, mostly in vain.
Oleksandr, wetting his face from a water bottle on a bench, said his team had worked all night picking through the rubble.
"We pulled out five bodies. We didn't find anybody alive," he said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy accused Russia of deliberately targetting civilians in "one of the most defiant terrorist attacks in European history".
Russia's defence ministry said its missiles had struck an arms depot storing Western weapons, which exploded, causing the blaze that spread to the nearby mall. Kyiv said there was no military target in the area, including at a nearby factory that was also hit.
Russia described the shopping centre as disused and empty, but that was contradicted by wounded survivors such as Ludmyla Mykhailets, 43, who had been shopping there with her husband when the blast threw her into the air.
"I flew head first and splinters hit my body. The whole place was collapsing," she said at a hospital where she was being treated. read more
"It was hell," said her husband, Mykola, 45, blood seeping through a bandage around his head.
Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries, at a summit in Germany, said the attack was "abominable". Russian President Vladimir Putin and those responsible will be held to account, they said in a statement.
International war crimes investigators assisting Ukraine were at the scene.
"It's a question about crimes against humanity," Ukraine's Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova told Reuters. "I think it's like systematical shelling of civilian infrastructure - with what aim? To scare people, to kill people to make terror in our cities and villages."
OIL PRICE CAP
Western countries have imposed economic sanctions on Russia, but so far have failed to curtail Moscow's main source of income, oil and gas export revenue, which has actually increased as the threat of supply disruption has propelled global prices.
At the end of a three-day summit, the G7 countries announced a new approach - leaving Russian oil on the market while imposing a cap on the price countries could pay for it.
"We invite all like-minded countries to consider joining us in our actions," they said in a communique.
The policy would squeeze Putin's "resources that he has to wage war, and secondly increase stability and the security of supply in global oil markets," a senior U.S. official said.
Russia denies intentionally targetting civilians in its "special military operation" which has destroyed cities, killed thousands of people and driven millions from their homes.
The attack on Kremenchuk, which lies about 330 km (200 miles) from Kyiv, comes after days of increasing Russian missile strikes far from the frontline, including the first attacks on the capital Kyiv for weeks.
Moscow has also stepped up shelling of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, where Russian troops were pushed back in a counter-offensive in May. The Kharkiv governor said five people were killed and 22 wounded in shelling on Monday that hit targets including apartment buildings and a school. read more
The UN Security Council, where Moscow wields a veto, will meet on Tuesday at Ukraine's request following the Kremenchuk attack. UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said the missile strike was deplorable.
RUSSIANS ATTEMPT TO STORM LYSYCHANSK
On the battlefields of the Donbas region, Ukraine endured another tough day following last week's loss of the now-ruined city of Sievierodonetsk.
Russian forces are trying to storm Lysychansk, across the Siverskyi Donets River from Sievierodonetsk, to complete their capture of Luhansk province, one of two eastern regions Moscow aims to conquer on behalf of separatist proxies.
Eight residents including a child were killed and 21 wounded by shelling when they gathered to get drinking water in Lysychansk on Monday, Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai said.
Ukrainian forces still controlled the city but its loss was possible as Russia poured resources into the fight, he added.
"They really want this and a lot of reserves are being thrown just for this," he told Reuters. "We do not need to lose an army for the sake of one city."
Rodion Miroshnik, ambassador to Moscow of the Luhansk separatists, said Russian and separatist troops were advancing westward into Lysychansk and street battles had erupted around the city stadium. Fighting was going on in several surrounding villages, and the pro-Russian fighters had entered an oil refinery where Ukrainian troops were concentrated, he said.
The advances in Luhansk have given Moscow its biggest victories in weeks, playing to Russia's strength in overwhelming artillery firepower that can demolish cities in its path.
But Ukraine still hopes to turn the tide with a counterattack once Moscow exhausts its invading forces in costly battles that yield slow gains. Kyiv has begun to receive more advanced Western weapons, including rockets that can hit targets far behind the front.