The meeting of the seven economic powerhouses deals with serious issues. Actually. But then, of all people, the man who is currently responsible for a lot of seriousness in the world provides a reason for joking: Vladimir Putin.

You can find it distasteful or laugh along: At lunch just before their first working session, the heads of state and government of the G7 made fun of Russia’s ruler Vladimir Putin. The jokes were triggered by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. A camera team that was briefly allowed to record in the room had captured the scene on video. In the short clip, given the high temperatures, Johnson asks whether the jackets can be taken off or not. “We all have to show that we are tougher than Putin,” Johnson added. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commented on this with the statement: Riding shirtless, you have to do that.

He was alluding to a photo of Vladimir Putin showing the Kremlin chief riding a horse in Siberia. In the photo, Putin is sitting on a brown horse, wearing only outdoor trousers. The picture dates from 2009 and shows Russia’s head of state on vacation in the Tuva region.

Without apparently going into the question of clothing, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who is a passionate rider, said: “Horseback riding is the best.” But Johnson didn’t give up and demanded: “We have to show them our abs.”

The jackets weren’t removed after all – at least not until the photographers left the room. The end of the clothing debate remained in the dark behind closed doors. After the working session, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) presented himself in front of the cameras without a tie but with a jacket.

Russian troops shell Kyiv

Given the current situation in Ukraine, should one really make fun of Putin? Joe Biden, who was not present in the joking round, had previously described Moscow’s recent attacks on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv as “barbaric”.

Shortly before the start of the G7 summit, Russia had attacked the city with rockets. It is the first time since the beginning of the war that the attacks have shifted back to the region. Several rockets slammed into a residential complex in the attacks on Sunday morning, burying several people under the rubble. Rescue workers were able to rescue some of them, according to official information, four people were injured in the attack. They, including a seven-year-old girl, were taken to the hospital.

The attacks completely destroyed the top three floors of a ten-story building. Even hours after the attack, the fire brigade was busy bringing the blaze under control. The mother of the injured girl, according to Ukrainian information a 30-year-old woman with Russian citizenship, was rescued from the rubble of the house after several hours of work. She too had to go to the hospital.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba posted a photo of the girl lying on the stretcher on Twitter and wrote: “A seven-year-old Ukrainian child slept peacefully in Kyiv – until a Russian missile blew up his house.”

A nearby kindergarten was also hit by a rocket, apparently nobody was injured. Meanwhile, in eastern Ukraine, after weeks of fighting, the Russian army completely captured the city of Sieverodonetsk.

Kuleba called on the G7 to respond to Russia with more sanctions. He also called again for weapons for Ukraine. Great Britain, Canada, Japan and the USA anticipated this before the summit by imposing an import ban on Russian gold.