Kyiv came under Russian air assault overnight. Ukrainian officials claimed that air defenses shot down 35 Iran-made drones over the capital city. Five people were reported injured from falling drone debris, while air raid alarms sounded for more than three hours, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Russian long-range bombers also launched up to eight cruise missiles at Ukraine’s southern Odesa region. One person was killed while three more were wounded in the attack, according to Ukrainian authorities.
“The Russian Federation (also) launched 16 missile strikes last night, in particular on the cities of Kharkiv, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Odesa regions,” the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said in its daily update. “Unfortunately, there are dead and wounded civilians, high-rise buildings, private homes and other civilian infrastructure were damaged.”
The attack on Kyiv and other Ukrainian population centers came after Ukraine’s forces launched more than 10 drones on Russian positions in the Crimean Peninsula in the early hours of Sunday morning. Russian-installed officials said that air defense systems repelled all the attacks.
Strikes on Russian-held targets have increased in recent weeks, notably in Crimea. There is speculation that such attacks seek to damage infrastructure in advance of a planned ground assault.
Spoiling Russia’s Holiday
The bombardments on the Ukrainian capital also came as Moscow enforced tighter than normal security on the eve of its Victory Day parade to mark Soviet victory over Nazi Germany. The event is scheduled to be held in Red Square on Tuesday.
Nearly two dozen other Russian cities have been forced to cancel similar events for the first time in years, citing security concerns. As of Monday, events will go ahead in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Ukrainian forces now view it as a top priority to hold Bakhmut, a city in the Donbas region that the Kremlin had set a goal of capturing by early May.
Russian forces have struggled for months to break the stalemate, and the fighting evokes comparisons to the Battle of Stalingrad during the Second World War. Much of the city has been destroyed, but its capture would be a symbolic victory for Moscow.
It was just last week that Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner Group, threatened to pull his forces out of Bakhmut following a disagreement over supplies. That row has apparently been smoothed over, and Prigozhin has announced his troops will remain on the battlefield.
It is still unlikely that the city will fall under Russian control in time for the victory parade. It is also not the only effort Ukraine is making to spoil the Kremlin’s big day.
On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy sent a draft bill to parliament proposing a Day of Remembrance and Victory over Nazism in World War II on May 8 and a Day of Europe on May 9, to further break ties with Moscow.
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.