Ukraine’s vital Black Sea port of Odessa has come under repeated missile attacks, including some hypersonic missiles, after Russia celebrated its biggest patriotic holiday without giving any new information about the war. Additionally, a Ukrainian official said the bodies of 44 civilians were found in the rubble of a building destroyed by Russia in March.
The civilians were inside a collapsed five-storey building in Izyum in the Kharkiv region, said Oleh Synehubov, the head of the Kharkiv regional administration.
“This is another horrible war crime by the Russian occupiers against the civilian population!” he said in a social media post announcing the deaths.
Izyum is a town in eastern Ukraine that Russia considers a key frontline node. Synehubov did not specify where the building was located.
Odessa shopping center affected
Earlier, the Ukrainian military said Russian forces fired seven missiles from the air in Odessa, hitting a shopping center and a warehouse. One person was killed and five others injured, the army said.
As part of the barrage, a Russian supersonic bomber fired three hypersonic missiles, according to the Center for Defense Strategies, a Ukrainian think tank that tracks the war. The center identified the weapons used as Kinzhal, or “Dagger,” hypersonic air-to-surface missiles.
The Kinzhal can fly at five times the speed of sound and has a range of 2,000 kilometers. The use of advanced guided missiles allows Russia to fire from aircraft remotely without being in Ukrainian airspace and without being exposed to possible anti-aircraft fire.
But Ukrainian, British and American officials warn that Russia is rapidly depleting its stockpile of precision weapons and may not be able to build more quickly, raising the risk that more inaccurate rockets will be used as the conflict continues. This could lead to more civilian deaths and other collateral damage.
The strikes came after Russian President Vladimir Putin celebrated his country’s biggest patriotic holiday without being able to boast of major new battlefield successes. He saw troops marching in formation and military equipment marching in a Victory Day parade in Moscow’s Red Square to celebrate the Soviet Union’s role in defeating Nazi Germany in 1945.
Many Western analysts expected Putin to use the VE Day holiday to trumpet some sort of victory in Ukraine or announce an escalation, but he did neither. Instead, he sought to re-justify war as a necessary response to what he described as a hostile Ukraine.
‘The danger was increasing day by day’: Putin
Putin has long bristled at NATO’s eastward advance into the former Soviet republics. Ukraine and its Western allies have denied that the country poses a threat.
“The danger was increasing day by day,” Putin said. “Russia gave a pre-emptive response to the aggression. It was forced, timely and the only correct decision.”
Intense fighting also raged in eastern Ukraine. And Russian forces sought to end resistance from Ukrainian defenders making their last stand at a steel mill in Mariupol.
One of the Ukrainian fighters who stood at the steelworks said they were still defending the city. Valeri Paditel, who heads the border guards in the Donetsk region, said the fighters were “doing everything to make those who will defend the city proud in the future”.
Ukraine’s military warned on Tuesday that Russia could target the country’s chemical industries. The claim was not immediately explained in the report. But Russian bombings have already targeted oil depots and other industrial sites during the war.
Additionally, satellite images analyzed by The Associated Press showed two vessels off Ukraine’s Snake Island on Monday afternoon.
Slog village by village
One of the ships seen in Planet Labs PBC footage appeared to be a landing craft. Ukraine has recently repeatedly struck Russian positions there, suggesting that Russian forces may try to reassign or withdraw personnel from the Black Sea island.
After fierce and unexpected resistance forced the Kremlin to abandon its efforts to storm kyiv more than a month ago, Moscow’s forces turned their attention to capturing Donbass, the industrial region of east of Ukraine.
But the fighting there has been back and forth, village by village. Some analysts have suggested that Putin could declare the fighting a war, not just a “special military operation”, and order a national mobilization, with a call for reserves, to fight a protracted conflict.
WATCH | Putin justifies invading Ukraine during WWII victory celebrations:
In the end, he gave no signal as to the direction of the war or how he might intend to save her. Specifically, he left unanswered the question of whether or how Russia will mobilize more forces for a continued war.
“Without concrete steps to build a new force, Russia cannot fight a long war, and time is starting to turn on the failure of its military in Ukraine,” tweeted Phillips P. O’Brien, a professor of studies. strategies at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
Nigel Gould Davies, former British ambassador to Belarus, said: “Russia has not won this war. It is starting to lose it.”
“There will be two Victory Days in Ukraine”
He said that unless Russia makes a major breakthrough, “the balance of advantages will shift steadily in Ukraine’s favor, especially as Ukraine gains access to increasing volumes of military equipment. more and more sophisticated Westerners”.
As Putin laid a wreath in Moscow, the air raid sirens sounded again in the Ukrainian capital. But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his own Victory Day speech that his country would eventually defeat the Russians.
“Very soon there will be two Victory Days in Ukraine,” he said in a video. He added: “We are fighting for freedom, for our children, and therefore we will win.”
An adviser to Zelensky interpreted Putin’s speech as indicating that Russia had no interest in escalating the war through the use of nuclear weapons or direct engagement with NATO.
In Washington, President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan measure to revive the World War II “Lend-Lease” program, which helped defeat Nazi Germany, to bolster kyiv and its Eastern European allies. ‘East.
Russia has about 97 battalion battlegroups in Ukraine, mostly in the east and south, a slight increase from last week, according to a senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the Pentagon assessment. Each unit has about 1,000 soldiers, according to the Pentagon.
The official said that overall the Russian effort in Donbass has not made significant progress in recent days and continues to face strong resistance from Ukrainian forces.
Satellite photos showed intense fires in Russian-held territory in southern Ukraine on Monday. The cause of the fires was not immediately clear. However, Planet Labs images showed thick smoke rising east of Vasylivka, a town flanked by nature reserves.