**Breaking: a massive Russian missile and drone attack on Ukraine in the early hours of today has killed and injured dozens nationwide. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the Russians attacked Ukraine with more than 40 missiles of various types. Many appear to have used the new tactic of taking circuitous routes across the nation. "And the entire world must use all its determination to finally put an end to the Russian strikes. Killing is what Putin brings," Zelensky said. "Only together can we bring real peace and security." The missiles targeted cities including Kyiv, Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih, Slovyansk and Kramatorsk,

Taking an apparent direct strike was the largest children’s hospital in Ukraine - Okhmatdyt in Kyiv. Early images showed heaps of rubble, broken glass and bloodied children and staff. Dozens of civilians could be seen later helping to remove rubble with their hands. “Ohmatdyt” is the biggest children's hospital in Ukraine. Since 1894, the institution has been constantly saving lives - many of them kids badly injured near the frontline.


“Everything was in smoke, there was no air to breathe. The doctor was cut by shrapnel. The windows and doors were blown out. One nurse in the hospital was heavily injured,” senior nurse Natalia Sardudinova told CNN. “My hands are still shaking. They don’t let anyone in now, they are afraid it will collapse.”

As of 12:50 p.m. (05:50 ET) there are 24 dead and 85 injured across Ukraine.

▪️Kyiv: 10 dead and 35 injured.

▪️ Kryvyi Rih: 10 dead and 41 injured.

▪️ Dnipro: 1 dead and 6 injured.

▪️Pokrovsk, Donetsk region: 3 dead.

My analysis: One would think this would be a red line for NATO and western leaders - but so many others have been crossed by Russia in Ukraine with little or no response…

France woke up Monday to a surprise victory of the New Popular Front in the second round of legislative elections. The leftist New Popular Front leading both Macron's ruling party and the right-wing National Rally but falling short of an absolute majority, according to Ipsos Talan projections. One of the coalition's leaders, Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the far-left France Unbowed party, urged Macron to invite them to form a government, saying the alliance “is ready to govern". Meanwhile , there is a “palpable sense of relief” in the EU capital after projections showed that the far right has fallen behind in France’s snap general elections - France 24


At least four senior House Democrats told colleagues privately on Sunday that it was time for U.S. President Joe Biden to end his campaign, during a meeting to discuss the future of his candidacy after a disastrous debate performance, according to three people briefed on the session. Representatives Jerrold Nadler of New York, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee; Adam Smith of Washington, the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee; Mark Takano of California, the ranking member of the Veterans Affairs panel; and Joseph D. Morelle of New York, the top Democrat on the Administration Committee, all said Mr. Biden should withdraw, according to the people, who insisted on anonymity to discuss a confidential virtual meeting on a sensitive topic. The discussion, which was still in progress on Sunday afternoon, was organized by Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the minority leader - NYT


Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, fresh off a controversial trip to Moscow, may now be on his way to Beijing, a Hungarian media site reported, although the government in Budapest hasn't confirmed the journey. Hungarian news portal 444.hu reported that tracking sites have shown that a Hungarian military-government Dassault Falcon 7X aircraft is on its way from Budapest to Beijing – a plane often used to transport the country’s prime minister. Orban, who holds the rotating EU Presidency, was soundly criticized by EU leaders for his July 5 trip to Moscow to meet with President Vladimir Putin in what the Hungarian premier called an effort to end the war between Russia and Ukraine. Brussels and Ukraine said Orban did not speak for the EU or Kyiv. Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Hungary in May. - RFE/RL

Israelis on Sunday marked nine months since the devastating Hamas-led attack of Oct. 7 and the start of the ensuing war in Gaza with a nationwide day of anti-government protests at a time that many here view as a pivotal juncture in the conflict. Primarily calling for a cease-fire deal with Hamas that would see hostages return from captivity and for new elections in Israel, protesters brought traffic to a standstill at several major intersections in cities and on highways across the country. Much of central Tel Aviv was blocked in one of the biggest protests in months. Some progress has been made in recent days for a resumption of negotiations toward a tentative deal after weeks of an impasse, even as the fighting continues in Gaza, where an Israeli strike hit in the area of a U.N. school on Saturday, and across Israel’s northern border with Lebanon. But many Israelis, among them the families of some of the hostages, fear that the cease-fire efforts could be torpedoed not only by Hamas, but also by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel who, they say, might prioritize the survival of his government over a deal that could topple it. - NYT

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