Ukraine War: five people were injured in the “biggest” suicide drone attack on Ukraine by Russia

Air raid sirens sounded across Ukraine after Russia launched a new wave of drone and missile strikes.
Explosions were heard overnight in the capital Kyiv, where the mayor said five people were injured in the “biggest” suicide drone attack to date

One person was killed in the attack in the southern Odessa region. The Ukrainian Red Cross said its warehouse was attacked. This was the fourth attack in eight days on Kiev and came just 24 hours before Russia celebrates Victory Day.

Annual holiday commemorating the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, a conflict the Kremlin has unfoundedly tried to draw parallels with since launching its all-out invasion in Ukraine last year.

After Russia’s attacks on civilian targets cooled in recent months, leaving Kiev with days of no attack, Moscow stepped up its air strikes over the past week in the face of a much-anticipated counter-offensive.

Ukraine’s military says the latest Russian attacks which lasted more than 4 hours and were launched shortly after midnight involve Iran-made Shahed suicide drones infiltrate the country.

Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said nearly 60 drones had been launched by Russia, describing it as the “largest” such attack to date.

He added that all 36 drones were destroyed in Kiev, but five people were injured by debris from the downed drone. These numbers cannot be verified

The Kyiv military junta said emergency services responded after a drone crashed on the runway at Zhuliany International Airport, one of the city’s two commercial airports.

The authorities added that civilians were also injured after the drone debris crashed into a residential building in the central district of Shevchenkivskyi.

In another development, in the Black Sea port city of Odessa, a warehouse was set on fire after eight missiles were fired at targets by Russian bombers, Ukrainian officials said. In a statement, the Ukrainian Red Cross said its humanitarian aid depot had been destroyed and all aid deliveries had to be halted.

Natalia Humeniuk, a spokeswoman for Ukraine’s Southern Command, later said the body of a man – a security guard – had been removed from the rubble. In its daily update, the Ukrainian military command said there was also a wave of missile attacks on the Kherson, Kharkiv and Mykolaiv regions.

At least eight people – including a child – were injured in two villages in the southern Kherson region, local officials said.

In Zaporizhzhia, the head of Russian authorities, Vladimir Rogov, said that Russian forces had attacked a warehouse and a position of the Ukrainian army in the small town of Orikhiv.

On the eastern front, the commander of Ukrainian forces in the besieged eastern town of Bakhmut said Russian troops had stepped up shelling, aiming to capture the town ahead of Tuesday’s celebrations.

The Russian army and fighter jets from the Wagner Corporation, a private military company, have been trying to capture Bakhmut for months – despite its questionable strategic value.

Over the weekend, Wagner’s founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin, appeared to back off his threat to pull out of the city after the Defense Ministry in Moscow promised him new weapons. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has announced that May 9 from now on will be celebrated as Europe Day, according to European Union regulations.

The move – which requires congressional approval – is seen as a sharp rebuke to Russia. Mr Zelensky said he signed a decree that the day would commemorate the unification of Europe and the defeat of “Fascism” – a term that stands for “Russian fascism”.

He also said that May 8 will officially be the day to commemorate the victory, as marked in many countries around the world. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will meet Zelensky in Kiev on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, as Russia prepares for Tuesday’s Victory Day parade in Moscow’s Red Square, the Kremlin has yet to reveal President Vladimir Putin’s role at the annual event.

Last year, Mr. Putin addressed the military parade and was seen sitting among World War II veterans in the VIP area. Russia said the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – all former Soviet republics – were expected to attend the parade, which has been rejected by major powers around the world including the United Kingdom, the United States and France – all wartime allies of the Soviet Union at that time.

Elsewhere, a court in Berlin banned the wearing of Russian and Soviet flags during rallies at Soviet war memorials in the German capital on May 9.

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