A firefighter works at the site of a resort area hit by a Russian missile strike [Reuters]
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According to recent reports, Ukraine has been hit by a fresh wave of drone and missile strikes launched by Russia. Following a fresh wave of drone and missile strikes launched by Russia, air raid sirens were heard overnight in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. The mayor of the city reported that five people had been injured in what he called the “biggest” kamikaze drone attack so far. Explosions were also heard in the southern Odesa region, where one person was killed and the Ukrainian Red Cross reported that its warehouse was hit. This marks the fourth attack on Kyiv in eight days, just before Russia’s Victory Day celebrations, which commemorate the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany during World War Two.
The Ukrainian military said that the latest Russian raids saw Iranian-made Shahed kamikaze drones swarm across the country, with nearly 60 drones launched by Russia. Kyiv’s Mayor stated that all 36 drones had been destroyed over Kyiv, but five people had been injured by falling debris from downed drones. Emergency services responded after drone wreckage fell on a runway at Zhuliany international airport, and civilians were injured after drone debris hit a residential building. Ukrainian officials also reported that eight missiles were fired at targets in the Black Sea port city of Odesa, setting a warehouse ablaze and destroying Ukraine’s Red Cross warehouse with humanitarian aid, resulting in the suspension of all aid deliveries.
Elsewhere, in the Kherson, Kharkiv, and Mykolaiv regions, there were a wave of missile strikes, injuring at least eight people, including a child. According to the Ukrainian commander of forces in the besieged eastern city of Bakhmut, Russian troops have increased shelling in an attempt to capture the city before the upcoming Tuesday’s celebrations. The Russian troops, along with fighters from the private military company, Wagner Group, have been trying to take control of Bakhmut for several months, despite the city’s questionable strategic importance.
In response to Russia’s Victory Day celebrations, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that 9 May would from now be celebrated as Europe Day, in line with the European Union. He also signed a decree that 8 May would officially be a Day of Remembrance and Victory, commemorating European unity and the defeat of “Ruscism,” a term that is shorthand for “Russian fascism.”