Russia Launches Massive Drone Strike Ahead Of Victory Day Parade – Ahead of Russia’s annual Victory Day holiday, when Russians celebrate the defeat of Nazi Germany with a military parade through the nation’s capital city, the Russian military launched the most significant drone attack on Ukraine for months. A swarm of Russian drones, most of which were gifted to Russia by Iran, hit Ukrainian cities on Monday, causing damage to civilian infrastructure.
Air raid sirens sounded across the country, with kamikaze drone strikes recorded in the capital city of Kyiv and the Black Sea port city of Odesa.
Kyiv Nearly Struck
Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said in a statement that almost 60 drones were launched by the Russians, with 36 directed at targets in the nation’s capital city. He described the strike as the biggest on the city so far. All 36 attempted drone strikes in Kyiv were stopped by Ukrainian air defense systems, according to the Ukrainian official.
Video footage shared on social media by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense showed the moment that Ukrainian air defense systems intercepted several Russian drones.
“On this Day of Remembrance &Victory over Nazism in WWII, today’s Nazis – ruscists – are destroying peaceful cities. The empire of which they dream will fade into obscurity. Just like its predecessors,” the accompanying post reads.
Drones Take Out Odesa Red Cross Warehouse
Overnight drone strikes set a Red Cross Society of Ukraine warehouse on fire overnight, according to local officials.
Video footage shared online showed rescue workers attempting to put out the fire, which raged for hours.
A statement issued by the Odesa Region Prosecutor’s Office confirmed that strikes in Odesa and nearby Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi killed at least one person. A further two people suffered injuries.
“According to the investigation, on the night of May 8, the Russian military, using means of warfare prohibited by international law, launched missile strikes on civilian and tourist infrastructure in the settlements of Odesa and Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi districts,” the statement reads, adding that an explosion destroyed a three-story food warehouse.
The strikes in the city also destroyed a recreational center and damaged 20 private homes.
Zelenskyy Compares Russian Forces to Nazis
In response to the strikes, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy compared the Russians to the Nazis, and announced a new decree that would change the date of the Victory Day celebration to align with Western celebrations.
Writing on Twitter, the Ukrainian president said that most nations across the world celebrate the victory against the Nazis on May 8, not May 9.
“Today, I submitted a bill to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine [the Ukrainian parliament] proposing that May 8 be the Day of Remembrance and Victory over Nazism in the Second World War of 1939-1945,” Zelenskyy said.
In a video address to the nation, Zelenskyy also compared modern-day Russia to Nazi Germany.
“Unfortunately, evil has returned,” Zelenskyy said. “Just as evil rushed to our cities then, it is doing so now.”
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.