The mayor of Kyiv, Vitaliy Klitschko, claimed that Russia had launched close to 60 drones, calling it the "biggest" drone attack to date. Representational image. Blake Little/Gettyimages

The annual holiday commemorates the defeat of Nazi Germany by the Soviet Union during World War Two, a battle with which the Kremlin has illegitimately attempted to draw comparisons ever since it began its invasion of Ukraine last year.

Following a recent respite in Russian assaults on civilian targets, during which Kyiv went days without an attack, Moscow has stepped up its air raids in the past week in anticipation of an anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive.

The Ukrainian military reported that Iranian-made Shahed kamikaze drones swarming over the nation were used in the most recent Russian raids, which lasted for more than four hours and were launched shortly after midnight.

The mayor of Kyiv, Vitaliy Klitschko, claimed that Russia had launched close to 60 drones, calling it the "biggest" drone attack to date, BBC reported.

The remaining 36 drones had been destroyed over Kyiv, he continued, but five persons had been hurt by drone debris that had fallen to the ground. The BBC was unable to confirm these figures.

According to Kyiv's military administration, emergency services were called after drone debris fell onto a runway at Zhuliany international airport, one of the city's two commercial airports.

The administration also stated that residents of a residential building in the central Shevchenkivskyi district were hurt by drone debris.

Ukrainian officials reported that a warehouse in the Black Sea port city of Odesa caught fire after Russian bombers launched eight missiles at targets.

The Red Cross of Ukraine announced in a statement that due to the destruction of its warehouse holding humanitarian aid, all relief deliveries had to be stopped.

Later, Natalia Humeniuk, a spokesperson for Ukraine's Southern Command, said that a security guard's body had been recovered from the rubble.

The Kherson, Kharkiv, and Mykolaiv districts had also been the target of a wave of missile strikes, according to a daily statement from the Ukrainian military command.

According to local authorities, at least eight people, including a toddler, were hurt in two villages in the southern Kherson area.

Vladimir Rogov, the head of the imposed Russian government in Zaporizhzhia, claimed that Russian soldiers had attacked a warehouse and a Ukrainian army position in the small city of Orikhiv.

The commander of Ukrainian forces in the besieged city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine reported that Russian forces had increased their shelling to retake the city by Tuesday's celebrations.

Despite Bakhmut's questionable strategic relevance, Russian troops and fighters from the Wagner Group, a private military firm, have been attempting to seize it for months.

Over the weekend, Wagner's founder Yevgeny Prigozhin appeared to U-turn on a threat to withdraw from the city after he was promised fresh ammunition supplies by the defence ministry in Moscow.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that 9 May would from now be celebrated as Europe Day, in line with the European Union. The move - which needs parliamentary approval - is seen as a pointed rebuke to Russia.

Zelensky said he had signed a decree that the day would commemorate European unity and the defeat of "Ruscism" - a term that is shorthand for "Russian fascism".

He also said that 8 May would now officially be a Day of Remembrance and Victory, as marked in many countries around the world.

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