Russia launched a large-scale wave of strikes on Kyiv and across Ukraine sowing destruction and injuries, officials said early on Monday, as Moscow prepares for its Victory Day holiday.
Victory Day in Russia is May 9, one of the country's most commemorated public holidays marking the anniversary of Nazi Germany's capitulation in 1945.
Ukraine's military command said that its forces destroyed 35 Iranian-made Shahed drones that Russia had launched overnight at different targets around the country.
"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.
At least five people were injured in Russian strikes on Kyiv, Ukrainian officials said, while Russian missiles set ablaze a foodstuff warehouse in the Black Sea city of Odesa and blasts were reported in several other Ukrainian regions.
Three people were injured in blasts in Kyiv's Solomyanskyi district and two others were injured when drone wreckage fell onto the Sviatoshyn district, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on his Telegram messaging channel.
Kyiv's military administration said that drone wreckage fell on a runway of the Zhuliany airport, one of the two passenger airports of the Ukrainian capital, causing no fire, but emergency services were working on the site.
It also said that in Kyiv's central Shevchenkivskyi district, drone debris seemed to have hit a two-story building, causing damage. There was no immediate information about potential casualties.
Meanwhile, Serhiy Bratchuk, spokesperson for the Odesa military administration, posted photos of a large structure fully engulfed in flames on his Telegram channel, in what he said was a Russian attack on a foodstuff warehouse, among others.
After air raid alerts blared for hours over roughly two-thirds of Ukraine, there were also media reports of sounds of explosions in the southern region of Kherson and in the Zaporizhzhia region in southeast.
Here are some of the other notable developments concerning the war in Ukraine on Monday, May 8:
Russia hopes to capture Bakhmut by Tuesday — Ukrainian general
Russia has intensified the shelling of Bakhmut, hoping to take it by Tuesday, Ukraine's top general in charge of the defense of the besieged city said, vowing to do everything to prevent it.
Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, the Ukrainian commander of ground forces, said that Russian forces increased the intensity of shelling with heavy weapons of the city, began to use more advanced equipment and were regrouping troops.
"Today, it is important to make decisions as quickly as possible and predict the actions of the enemy," Syrskyi said on his Telegram channel after what he said was a visit to the troops along the Bakhmut frontline.
"The Russians still hope to capture the city by May 9. Our task is to prevent this," he said.
The battle for the city, once home to 70,000 people, has symbolic importance for both sides, with Ukraine still holding on to some parts of it after more than 10 months of fierce fighting against regular Russian troops and the Wagner mercenary force.
Moscow sees Bakhmut as a stepping stone to attacking other Ukrainian cities. Kyiv has said before that maintaining the defense of Bakhmut, occupying important Russian offensive forces, enables the military to prepare its expected counteroffensive.