- Putin leads Soviet victory celebrations in World War II
- Ukraine says missiles hit southern port of Odessa
- Russian forces storm Azovstal steelworks
- Zelenskiy says Ukrainian victory is assured
KYIV/KHARKIV, Ukraine, May 10 (Reuters) – Buildings in Odessa lay in ruins on Tuesday, a day after Kremlin forces pounded the port in southern Ukraine with missiles and Russian President Vladimir Putin held provocative celebrations marking the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany around the world. War Two.
While Putin was silent on plans for a possible escalation, he urged the Russians to fight back and repeated his claims that they were fighting the Nazis again. His forces continued to destroy the infrastructure of the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol where the last Ukrainian troops are resisting.
“You are fighting for the fatherland, for its future, so that no one forgets the lessons of the Second World War. So that there is no place in the world for executioners, castigators and Nazis” , Putin said.
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in his own speech on Monday, promised that the Ukrainians would triumph.
“On Victory Day over Nazism, we are fighting for another victory. The road to it is difficult, but we have no doubt that we will win,” Zelenskiy said.
In Odessa, the main Black Sea port for the export of agricultural products, one person was killed and five others injured when seven missiles hit a shopping center and a depot, the Ukrainian Armed Forces said on Facebook.
Video footage from the scene showed firefighters and rescue workers combing through piles of rubble hosing down still-smoldering wreckage.
Ukraine and its allies have stepped up efforts on how to unblock ports or provide alternative routes to export its large grain, wheat and corn crops.
European Council President Charles Michel traveled to Odessa on Monday, and his meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal was interrupted by the missile attack.
Their discussions continued in a bomb shelter, according to Shmyhal’s official Twitter account.
Air raid sirens could be heard in several regions of Ukraine early Tuesday, including Luhansk, Kharkiv and Dnipro.
Serhiy Gaidai, the governor of Luhansk, said the region had been attacked 22 times in the 24 hours until Tuesday morning.
“During the day of May 9, the Russians fired en masse on all possible routes out of the region.”
Houses were destroyed in Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk and in the village of Shypilovo, where people remained trapped, there was an attack on an inspection team which injured one person, Gaidai added.
In the town of Bogodukhov, northwest of Kharkiv, four people were killed and several houses were destroyed in Russian attacks on Monday, local media reported citing Kharkiv officials.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry says Russian forces backed by tanks and artillery are carrying out ‘assault operations’ at Mariupol’s Azovstal factory, where hundreds of Ukrainian defenders have held out for months of seat.
Mariupol sits between the Crimean peninsula, seized by Moscow in 2014, and parts of eastern Ukraine under the control of Russian-backed separatists. Capturing the city would allow Moscow to connect the two areas.
More than 5.5 million Ukrainians have fled their country since Russia invaded on February 24, according to the United Nations, which called it Europe’s fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II. world.
Moscow’s gains from the invasion, however, have been slow at best and there is little to show beyond a sliver of territory to the south and marginal gains to the east.
US President Joe Biden has said he’s worried Putin “doesn’t have a way out right now, and I’m trying to figure out what we’re doing about it.”
Sources say US Democratic lawmakers have agreed to a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine, including a massive new weapons package. Read more
The White House previously described Putin’s remarks during his VE Day address as “revisionist history that has taken the form of disinformation.”
Soviet victory in World War II acquired a quasi-religious status in Russia under Putin, who invoked the memory of the “Great Patriotic War” throughout what he calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Western countries consider this a false analogy to justify unprovoked aggression.
“There can be no day of victory, only dishonor and surely defeat in Ukraine,” said British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace.
In Poland, the Russian ambassador was surrounded by protesters at a memorial ceremony and sprayed with red paint. Ambassador Sergei Andreyev, his face dripping and his shirt stained, said he was “proud of my country and my president”.
Sheltered in a metro station in Kharkiv – Ukraine’s second mostly Russian-speaking city which has been bombarded relentlessly since the early days of the war – Kateryna Grigoriyevna, 79, sat eating an ice cream that she s ‘d ventured to buy for Victory Day.
“We hate Putin,” she said, glancing around the platform where some 200 people huddle in tents and on thin mattresses.
“I would kill him myself if I could.”
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Additional reporting by Oleksandr Kozhukhar in Lviv, Ronald Popeski in Winnipeg, Lidia Kelly in Melbourne and from Reuters bureaus; Written by Rami Ayyub and Lincoln Feast; Editing by Himani Sarkar
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