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Russia launches mass strikes on Ukraine ahead of May 9 victory day holiday

Officials reported early Monday that Russia unleashed a large-scale round of strikes on Kyiv and across Ukraine, causing destruction and injuries, as Moscow prepares for its beloved Victory Day holiday commemorating its defeat of Nazi Germany.

According to Ukrainian officials, at least five persons were injured as a result of Russian strikes on Kyiv, while Russian missiles set fire to a food warehouse in the Black Sea city of Odesa, and explosions were recorded in many other Ukrainian districts.

The new attacks come as Moscow prepares for its Victory Day parade on Tuesday, a key anniversary for President Vladimir Putin, who has invoked the spirit of the Soviet army that defeated Nazi German forces to declare that Russia would defeat a Ukraine allegedly gripped by a new incarnation of Nazism.

Russia increased shelling of Bakhmut in the hope of taking it by Tuesday, according to Ukraine’s top commander in charge of the beleaguered city’s defense, after Russia’s Wagner mercenary squad appeared to abandon preparations to withdraw from it.

Mayor Vitali Klitschko claimed on his Telegram messaging channel that three persons were hurt in blasts in Kyiv’s Solomyanskyi area and two more were injured when drone wreckage fell onto the Sviatoshyn district, both west of the capital’s center.

According to the Kyiv military administration, drone wreckage crashed on a runway of the Zhuliany airport, one of the Ukrainian capital’s two passenger airports, creating no fire, however, emergency services were on the scene.

It further stated that drone debris appeared to have struck a two-story building in Kyiv’s central Shevchenkivskyi area, causing damage. There was no immediate word about probable casualties.

Witnesses to Reuters reported hearing many explosions in Kyiv, with local officials claiming that air defense systems were repelling the strikes. It was unclear how many drones were launched above Kyiv.

Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesperson for the Odesa military administration, shared photographs on his Telegram channel of a massive facility completely consumed in flames, which he claimed was the result of a Russian strike on a food warehouse, among other things.

After air raid sirens wailed for hours over about two-thirds of Ukraine, there were reports of explosions in Kherson’s southern and Zaporizhzhia’s southeast regions.

According to Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-installed local authority in Zaporizhzhia, Russian soldiers attacked a warehouse and a Ukrainian army position in Orikhiv, a small town in the region. The report could not be independently verified by Reuters.

On February 24, 2022, Putin invaded Ukraine, declaring it a “special military operation” to defend Russia from neo-Nazis in Ukraine, while Kyiv and its allies argue it was an unprovoked territorial grab.

The invasion ignited Europe’s worst conflict since World War II, killing thousands and forcing millions to abandon the country.

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