Ahead of its Victory Day anniversary, Russia has launched a large-scale wave of strikes on Kyiv and across Ukraine, according to media reports.
At least five people were injured in attacks on Kyiv, Ukrainian officials said, while Russian missiles caused a huge fire at a foodstuff warehouse in the Black Sea city of Odesa. Blasts were reported in several other Ukrainian regions early today morning.
The fresh attacks come as Moscow prepares for its Victory Day parade holiday that marks the anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II tomorrow, a key anniversary for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has repeatedly brought up the failed Nazi invasion in his rhetoric around Ukraine.
According to Kyiv’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, three people were injured in blasts in the city’s Solomyanskyi district, while two others were injured when drone wreckage fell in the Sviatoshyn district, both west of the capital’s centre.
In the Black Sea port city of Odesa, the local military administration posted images of a large structure fully engulfed in flames, stating it was a Russian attack on a foodstuff warehouse, among others.
Air raid alerts blared for hours over roughly two-thirds of Ukraine, while there were also media reports of explosions in the southern region of Kherson and in the Zaporizhzhia region in the south-east.
There are also reports of Russian forces evacuating residents from the area near the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
The head of the UN’s nuclear power watchdog warned that the situation around the plant had become “potentially dangerous”. Ukraine is expected to start a much-anticipated counteroffensive to retake Russian-held territory, including in the Zaporizhzhia region.