Ukraine War Updates: Another Round of Attacks Reported in Odesa

Live Updates
  • As the war in Ukraine continued for a 75th day, Russian President Vladimir Putin celebrated Victory Day, marking the anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany.
  • During a speech, Putin drew parallels between fighting Germany troops and the current actions of Russian forces to "de-nazify" Ukraine.
  • European Council President Charles Michel said he saw "silos full" of food for export being blocked by Russian forces in the Black Sea.
  • U.S. President Joe Biden signed the "Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022" into law Monday to provide more aid to Ukraine.
Borodyanka damage
Buildings damaged in in Borodyanka, 60 kilometres northwest of Kyiv, on May, 8, 2022. CARLOS REYES/AFP via Getty Images

Live Updates Have Ended.

Another Round of Attacks Reported in Odesa

Missiles hit Odesa for the second time Monday amid increasing attacks against the southern port city in recent days.

Several explosions were reported, and a fire broke out in a mall, Public Odesa reported late Monday, as missiles struck other areas in the Odesa area earlier in the day. The attacks come as Victory Day was commemorated.

"In the morning, Putin put flowers to the monument of hero city Odesa in Moscow, commemorating 9th May," Ukraine's Minister of Internal Affairs Advisor Ukraine Anton Gerashchenko said. "In the evening by his orders, Odesa is hit with rockets."

Russian forces have ramped up attacks against the city in recent days, located in southwestern Ukraine along the Black Sea.

Odesa
This picture taken on May 8, 2022 shows a destroyed beach hotel in Ukrainian city of Odessa, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. OLEKSANDR GIMANOV/AFP via Getty Images

Jill Biden Makes Surprise Visit to Ukraine

First Lady Jill Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine on Mother's Day, meeting with her Ukrainian counterpart Olena Zelenska.

"I wanted to come on Mother's Day," Biden told Zelenska, according to the Associated Press. "I thought it was important to show the Ukrainian people that this war has to stop, and this war has been brutal and that the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine."

Biden spent about two hours in the town of Uzhhorod, near the Slovakian border Sunday. She met with Zelenska at a school being used to temporarily house Ukrainian migrants. The pair met privately for a "more of a personal mother-to-mother exchange," according to Biden's spokesperson Michael LaRosa. They also joined a group of children who were making Mother's Day gifts.

Jill Biden in Ukraine
US First lady Jill Biden (L) and Ukraine President wife Olena Zelenska (CR) visit the School 6, a public school that has taken in displaced students in Uzhhorod on May 8, 2022, during an unannounced visit of Jill Biden to Ukraine on the sidelines of an official trip in nearby Slovakia. SUSAN WALSH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Zelenska thanked Biden for her "courageous act."

"We understand what it takes for the U.S. first lady to come here during a war when military actions are taking place every day, where the air sirens are happening every day, even today," Zelenska said.

Biden also visited a public school that has taken in displaced Ukrainian students.

Russia Resumes Shelling Against Azovstal

Despite claims of a ceasefire, Russian forces resumed attacking the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said Monday.

"In the city of Mariupol, despite the announced 'silence mode,' restored shelling and storming actions of the Azovstal plant," Spokesman of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Pavlo Kovalchuk said Monday evening.

After repeated efforts to evacuate hundreds of civilians sheltering inside the plant, Ukraine reported success over the weekend. Saturday, Ukrainian officials reported that all women, children and elderly civilians were evacuated from Azovstal.

"This part of the Mariupol humanitarian operation has been completed," Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.

Some 174 evacuees from the Mariupol area arrived in Zaporizhzhia late Sunday night by bus, the Associated Press reports. Among the evacuees were 31 of the 51 civilians evacuated from Azovstal steel mill, AP adds.

Azovstal evacuations
People evacuated from Mariupol arrive on buses at a registration and processing area for internally displaced people in Zaporizhzhia, on May 8, 2022. DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images

The steel plant is the last pocket of resistance in the besieged city. It's estimated some 2,000 Ukrainian fighters remain as they continue pushing back against Russia's ongoing attacks.

Along with the Donbas, Russia's new offensive also focuses on southern Ukraine and seizing Mariupol. Taking the southern port city would allow Russia to complete a land corridor to the Crimean Peninsula.

Azovstal plant
Smoke rises from the Metallurgical Combine Azovstal in Mariupol during shelling, in Mariupol, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, May 7, 2022. Alexei Alexandrov/AP Photo

Russian Ambassador to Poland Hit with Red Paint in Warsaw

Protesters threw red paint on Russia's ambassador to Poland during a visit to Warsaw Monday.

Ambassador Sergey Andreev was paying his respects to a cemetery dedicated to Red Army soldiers who died during World War II on Victory Day.

As he arrived, Andreev was met with hundreds of demonstrators who gathered to protest the war in Ukraine. Then, red paint was throws from behind him and a protester standing in front of him threw a blob of in directly in his face. Others in his entourage were also hit with paint.

The protesters carried Ukrainian flags and yelled "fascists and "murderers" at Andreev.

Andreev Gets Paint in His Eye
Andreev Reacts to Paint Throw
Close Up of Andreev
Andreev and Entourage Hit With Paint
Demonstrators in Warsaw
Protesters in Warsaw

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova condemned the attack. She said, "we won't be scared" while the "people of Europe should be scared to see their reflection in a mirror," according to the Associated Press.

Zakharova added that "admirers of the neo-Nazis have once again shown their face."

Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau called the event a "regrettable incident which should not have taken place."

"The diplomats enjoy particular protection, irrespectively of policies pursued by their governments," he said in a statement.

Russia Making Slow Progress in Donbas, Pentagon Says

Russia is making "incremental progress" as it continues concentrating its forces in the Donbas, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said Monday.

Kirby called the fighting in the region "very dynamic," saying it is not a "stalemate."

"There are literally towns and villages that are changing hands, sometimes in the course of a day or so," Kirby said during Monday's briefing.

Kirby said Russia is making incremental progress pushing down into the Donbas from the north, particularly along the line of axis from Izium, but their gains are "very limited."

"But... it's slow and it's uneven," he explained. "They continue to meet a very stiff Ukrainian resistance. We don't see the Russians really making a loss of progress over the course of time, we still believe that they are behind their own schedule."

Kirby presser
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby speaks during a media briefing at the Pentagon, Monday, May 9, 2022, in Washington. Alex Brandon/AP Photo

Kirby Slams Putin's "Justification" of Ukraine War:

Kirby said Russian President Vladimir Putin's speech Monday during Victory Day in Red Square was more of the same "bluster" and "untruths" that he's spewed since the beginning.

"He [Putin] talked about this being a justified military operation... it's not," Kirby said. "Ukraine posed no threat. Not only no threat to Russia but no threat to anybody else. So, it wasn't justified. He said it was timely, that it needed to happen now. No it didn't."

Putin also spoke about ridding Ukraine of "Nazis" during his speech. Kirby also slammed that claim. Putin delivered his speech on Monday, which marked the 77th anniversary of the Soviet Union's defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.

"You know who's in Ukraine? Ukrainians," Kirby said. "Not Nazis. It mean it's just a ridiculous claim."

"What we didn't hear... what we should have heard, was plans for how he's [Putin] gonna end the war," Kirby said. "How he's gonna move his forces out of Ukraine. How he's going to finally respect Ukraine as a sovereign state and nation."

Biden Signs 'Pivotal' Lend-Lease Bill for Aid to Ukraine

President Joe Biden signed the "Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022" into law Monday.

As Russian President Vladimir Putin's war is "bringing destruction in Europe," Biden said he is signing this law to "to reaffirm commitment future grounded in democracy, human rights and peaceful resolution to disagreements."

He said the bill demonstrates "pivotal" support to Ukraine as they face continued "atrocities" committed by Russian forces.

"The cost of the fight is not cheap, but caving to aggression is even more costly," Biden added.

Biden Signs Ukraine Lend Lease Law
US President Joe Biden signs into law the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on May 9, 2022. - President Joe Biden on Monday eased the acceleration of US weapons shipments to Ukraine through a law based on a World War II measure helping US allies to defeat Nazi Germany. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

This World War II-era policy gives Biden enhanced authority to quickly lend or lease military aid to Ukraine.

Biden was joined in the Oval Office by Congresses' only Ukrainian-born representative Victoria Spartz, a Republican from Indiana.

Vice President Kamala Harris, Democratic Representative Elissa Slotkin of Michigan and Democratic Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland were also present.

Biden Signs Ukraine Defense Law
US President Joe Biden (C) holds the hand of US Vice President Kamala Harris (2L) after signing into law the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on May 9, 2022. Also pictured (L-R) US Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), US Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), and US Representative Victoria Spartz (R-IN). President Joe Biden on Monday eased the acceleration of US weapons shipments to Ukraine through a law based on a World War II measure helping US allies to defeat Nazi Germany. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Biden and the American people for their support "in the fight for our freedom and future."

"Today's signing of the law on Lend-Lease is a historic step," he tweeted. "I am convinced that we will win together again. And we will defend democracy in Ukraine. And in Europe. Like 77 years ago."

State Dept. Calls Putin Victory Day Speech 'Ahistorical'

The State Department called Russia President Vladimir Putin's Victory Day speech "ironic" and "ahistorical" amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price called the remarks "ahistorical and divorced from reality" during the daily press briefing.

"Contrary to what we heard in Moscow, this war of choice is unjustified, premediated" and has "brought catastrophic loss of life," Price said.

He said any attempts to call Russia's war a "defensive action" amid continued airstrikes is "absurd."

"To call this anything other than a premediated war of choice against Ukraine is an afront to historical record," Price added.

Price said the speech was "ironic" because on a day to commemorate victory over the authoritarianism, aggression and oppression of Nazism decades ago, Russia has "co-opted this cause."

Putin is "celebrating features the world sought to vanquish," Price said.

The speech was also ironic, Price said, because the only victory happening right now is on the Ukrainian side.

He credited the successes during the 10-week conflict to the courage and resolve of the Ukrainian people and the support provided by the U.S. and its allies and partners.

When asked about the large crowds that turned out for Putin's Victory Day celebration, Price said it is a sign that the Russian people are "fed a steady diet of disinformation and lies."

Putin feeds lies in order to sell his war to people who, if they knew the truth, would "reject it out of hand," Price said.

During the press conference, Price also discussed the newly enacted sanctions.

These actions target Russian's financial, defense and marine sectors and place visa restrictions on Russian and Belarussian officials believed to be involved in human rights abuses in Ukraine and actions that threaten Ukraine's sovereignty.

He said the majority of the 2,596 Russian and 13 Belarussian military officials were present in Bucha when the reported atrocities occurred.

Price also dismissed claims that the U.S. ignored Russia's security concerns during early negotiations.

He said the U.S. engaged in "good faith" talks and provided a path to address both Russian and U.S. concerns.

"To say that we didn't account for Russian concerns is taking the bait Moscow put forward," Price said.

Ukrainians Being Moved to Russia 'Against Their Will'

There are indications that Ukrainians are being moved from Ukraine into Russia "against their will," Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said Monday.

When asked about reports of Ukrainians being moved to so-called "filtration camps," Kirby said he cannot speak to what the camps possibly look like or how many there may be. He also could not speak to the number of Ukrainians who have been moved to Russia. However, he called the reports "unconscionable."

"Every time you think they [Russia] just can't fall to a new low, they prove you wrong," Kirby said during Monday's briefing.

U.S. Security Assistance to Ukraine:

The U.S. continues providing daily shipments of security assistance into Ukraine; however, remaining funding from the Presidential Drawdown authority will only allow shipments to continue to the third week of May, Kirby said.

"We believe that between what the President [Biden] just announced Friday and the $100 million that we still have left... that that will get us to about the third week of this month, is what we're pretty much anticipating," Kirby said.

The Biden Administration is urging Congress to pass the President's $33 billion supplemental aid package as quickly as possible so security assistance can continue flowing into Ukraine "uninterrupted," Kirby said.

Amid the funding concerns, U.S. security assistance shipments to Ukraine continue at the same pace as "multiple" flights head into the region daily. Kirby said it appears that Congress will act and approve the massive supplemental bill.

Ukraine Submitted Second EU Questionnaire, Zelensky Says

Ukraine has submitted the second European Union membership questionnaire, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

During a video conference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Zelensky noted that the questionnaire was sent to Matti Maasikas, the head of the EU delegation to Ukraine.

"I think these answers are also a small victory for our team. We are waiting for the consideration and conclusions of the European Commission," he said. "I would like these conclusions to be positive. And I would like these conclusions to be provided faster thanks to you."

He added that joining the EU would greatly help the efforts of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Von der Leyen told Zelensky she was "impressed" with the speed with which the answers to the questionnaire were prepared.

"This will encourage the European Commission to work faster," she said.

The Commission is expected to deliver its opinion in June.

Pentagon Press Briefing

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby will soon hold a news briefing.

The briefing is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. EST Monday. Watch live on the Department of Defense website.

Kirby briefing
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, Friday, May 6, 2022. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo

State Department Press Briefing

U.S. State Department Spokesperson Ned Price will soon hold the daily press briefing.

The briefing is scheduled to begin Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. EST. Watch live on the State Department YouTube page or below.

Russia Blocking Tons of Food in Odessa, EU Official Says

European Council President Charles Michel visited Odessa Monday.

While at the ports, Michel said he saw "silos full of grain, wheat and corn ready for export," as "millions of tons of food are currently blocked" in the Black Sea.

Michel noted that Odessa is "playing an important role in the food security of the world."

The blockage of this "badly needed" food means "potentially dramatic consequences for many countries in the world, especially for developing countries," he said during a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.

He added that this is the "direct responsibility of this war started by Russia."

"We must do everything to work together to address this food security challenge, which is important for the world," Michel said.

Charles Michel in Odessa
This handout picture released by the European Council press office shows the President of the European Council Charles Michel (2ndL) visiting the port of Odessa along with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal (2ndR) on May 9, 2022 amid Russian invasion of Ukraine. European Council President Charles Michel said Russia would fail to "execute" Ukraine's "freedom" on a surprise trip to Odessa Monday during which he was forced to take cover when missiles again truck the Black Sea city. DARIO PIGNATELLI/EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESS SERVICE/AFP via Getty Images

U2's Bono, the Edge Perform in Kyiv Subway Station

U2's Bono and The Edge performed in a Kyiv subway station Sunday, at the invitation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"Zelensky invited us to perform in Kyiv as a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people and so that's what we've come to do," U2 tweeted Sunday. "Bono and The Edge #StandWithUkraine."

The singer and guitarist played a rendition of "Stand By Me" during the surprise concert, singing "Stand By Ukraine" to a crowd. The two were joined by Ukrainian soldiers for the song.

Bono praised Ukrainians who have continued to defend their country against Russian forces.

"Your president [Zelensky] leads the world in the cause of freedom right now," Bono told the crowd Sunday. "The people of Ukraine are not just fighting for your own freedom, you're fighting for all of us who love freedom."

The station in Khreschatyk has been used as a bomb shelter amid Russia's ongoing attacks against Ukraine's capital city.

Bono performance
Bono (Paul David Hewson), a Ukrainian musical band leader and now the serviceman in the Ukrainian Army Taras Topolia, and guitarist David Howell Evans aka 'The Edge' perform at subway station Sunday. SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images
Bono performance
SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images

Over 7,000 Civilian Casualties in Ukraine

Explosive weapons have caused most of the estimated 7,000 civilian casualties in Ukraine, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said.

OHCHR has recorded 3,381 civilian deaths and 3,680 injuries, but warns actual figures are "considerably higher."

"Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes," OHCHR said.

"The receipt of information from some locations where intense hostilities have been going on has been delayed and many reports are still pending corroboration."

Areas with pending reports include Mariupol, Izium and Popasna where OHCHR says there are numerous civilian casualties suspected.

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office says 226 children have died as of Monday. Juvenile prosecutors have recorded more than 641 child casualties, including 415 injures. The office warns its numbers are also not final due to pending reports from areas of active hostilities.

Azovstal
Smoke rises from the Metallurgical Combine Azovstal in Mariupol during shelling, in Mariupol, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, May 7, 2022. Alexei Alexandrov/AP Photo

Russia Turning To Aging Munitions, U.K. Intel Shows

As Russia war stretches into a 75th day, its supply of precision-guided munitions has "likely been heavily depleted," according to the latest British intelligence.

"At the onset of its invasion of Ukraine, Russia publicly promoted its ability to conduct surgical strikes and limit collateral damage," the U.K. Ministry of Defence said Monday. "It stated that Ukrainian cities would therefore be safe from bombardment. However, as the conflict continues beyond Russian pre-war expectations, Russia's stockpile of precision-guided munitions has likely been heavily depleted."

Attacks have targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure in cities across Ukraine for weeks, Ukrainian authorities say. The ministry says Russia is now turning to "readily available but aging munitions that are less reliable, less accurate and more easily intercepted."

"Russia will likely struggle to replace the precision weaponry it has already expended," the ministry said. "Russia's invasion of Ukraine has revealed shortcomings in its ability to conduct precision strikes at scale. Russia has subjected Ukraine's towns and cities to intense and indiscriminate bombardments with little or no regard for civilian casualties."

Russia is continuing its new offensive in the Donbas and southern Ukraine. Late last week, the ministry said ongoing attacks against Mariupol and the Azovstal steel plant in the besieged city has cost Russia personnel, equipment and munitions.

The latest map released Monday by the U.K. Ministry of Defence shows areas in Ukraine under Russian control, stretching from east of Kharkiv, down the Donbas and into southern Ukraine. The map shows several likely axes of advance by Russian troops into Izium, Luhansk, Donetsk, Mariupol, Zaporizhzhia and Berdiansk.

UK Ministry of Defence map
UK Ministry of Defence/Twitter

Massive Victory Day Parade in Russia

A massive "Victory Day" military parade descended down the streets of Moscow Monday, as Russia commemorated the 77th anniversary of the Soviet Union's defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.

A sea of people attended the Immortal Regiment march towards Red Square, carrying large portraits of relatives who fought in World War II and flags. Russian President Vladimir Putin was also in attendance, carrying a portrait of his father. Putin delivered a speech at the parade and attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Putin attends a wreath-laying on Victory Day
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier after the military parade marking the 77th anniversary of the end of World War II in Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 9, 2022. Anton Novoderezhkin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

Thousands of armored vehicles and thousands of troops also paraded down Red Square.

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Putin Hails Operation in Ukraine, Claims No Victory

During a speech on Victory Day, Russian President Vladimir Putin compared Russia's World War II victory over Nazi Germany to its current efforts in Ukraine.

"The danger was rising by the day," he said. "Russia has given a preemptive response to an aggression."

Putin added that the invasion was "the only right solution we could take" after a "threat directly to our borders."

"Everything showed that we are dealing with Nazis, and we have to do something about it," he said, adding that this decision was taken by "a sovereign and strong country."

Putin has repeatedly said that Russia's "special military operation" in Ukraine is meant to rid the country of the Nazis who pose a threat to Russia.

In his speech Monday, Putin did not declare any victory. He also, notably, did not mention specific battlefield details or the word "Ukraine." Instead, Putin made reference to the Donbas region.

Putin said Russian forces in Ukraine are "fighting for the Motherland, so that no one will forget the lessons of World War II and there will be no place in the world for hangmen, executioners and the Nazis."

There was indication from Putin about a shift in strategy or end his invasion. He blamed Western countries for not listening to Russia about the "growing threat."

"NATO countries did not want to listen to us. They had different plans, and we saw it," Putin said. "They were planning an invasion into our historic lands, including Crimea."

Putin Give Speech Victory Day
Putin Waves to ccowd
Putin, Generals Victory Day
Putin Speech

Zelensky Vows Ukraine 'Will Win' in Victory Day Speech

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed Ukraine "will win" the war against Russia as he delivered a speech Monday celebrating Victory Day.

"We are proud of our ancestors who, together with other nations in the anti-Hitler coalition, defeated Nazism," Zelensky said.

Victory Day commemorates the Soviet Union's defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II; the national holiday is recognized in Russia on May 9. Amid this year's celebrations, Russia's invasion continues for a 75th day in neighboring Ukraine.

"On the Day of Victory over Nazism, we are fighting for a new victory," Zelensky said. "The road to it is difficult, but we have no doubt that we will win."

"On February 24, Russia launched an offensive," he continued. "Treading on the same rake. Every occupier who comes to our land treads on it. We have been through different wars. But they all had the same final. Our land was sown with bullets and shells, but no enemy was able to take root here. There are no shackles that can bind our free spirit. There is no occupier who can take root in our free land. There is no invader who can rule over our free people. Sooner or later, we win. Despite the horde, despite Nazism, despite the mixture of the first and the second, which is the current enemy, we win, because this is our land."

Zelensky said Russian President Vladimir Putin is "repeating the horrific crimes of Hitler's regime" in Ukraine today. He promised a victory "soon" for Ukraine.

"We do not say "we can repeat," Zelensky said. "Because only a madman can wish to repeat the 2194 days of war. The one who is repeating the horrific crimes of Hitler's regime today, following Nazi philosophy, copying everything they did. He is doomed. Because he was cursed by millions of ancestors when he began to imitate their killer. And therefore, he will lose everything."

"And very soon there will be two Victory Days in Ukraine," he concluded. "And someone will not have even one left. We won then. We will win now, too!"