Russia-Ukraine live updates: Putin says war was ‘unleashed’ on Russia

(NEW YORK) — More than a year after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, the countries are fighting for control of areas in eastern and southern Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s forces are readying a spring counteroffensive, but Putin appears to be preparing for a long and bloody war.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

May 09, 8:22 AM EDT
Putin says Ukraine war was ‘unleashed’ on Russia

During his annual Victory Day speech in Moscow’s Red Square on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that the Ukraine war was “unleashed” on Russia and blamed “Western global elites” while calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a puppet.

Putin also directly compared his ongoing war in Ukraine to the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in 1945, which is what Victory Day commemorates. He claimed that Russia “once again” was fighting for “civilization” and he painted a topsy-turvy picture that Moscow wants peace with all nations.

“Today, the civilization is once again at a decisive, turning point and an actual war has been unleashed against our homeland again,” Putin said. “But we fended off international terrorism, we will protect residents of Donbas too and ensure our security.”

Putin’s speech made clear once more that the Russian president has no intention of negotiating currently or scaling back his ambitions to defeat Ukraine.

However, the Victory Day military parade in Moscow was a significantly shrunken version of itself on Tuesday, compared with previous years, due to Russia’s huge losses in Ukraine and its urgent need for equipment. There appeared to be approximately 50 military vehicles taking part in this year’s event compared with 130 during the 2019 parade. Tuesday’s parade was also comprised of nearly all high armored vehicles, similar to Humvees.

The flypast part of the event, which usually involves helicopters and fighter jets, was cancelled on Tuesday despite clear, sunny skies in the Russian capital. But perhaps what was most notable was the cancelling of the parade in at least 24 Russian cities due to security concerns that Ukrainian forces might be able to strike them, likely because of Russia’s shortages of troops and equipment.

-ABC News’ Patrick Reevell

May 09, 8:22 AM EDT
Putin says Ukraine war was ‘unleashed’ on Russia

During his annual Victory Day speech in Moscow’s Red Square on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that the Ukraine war was “unleashed” on Russia and blamed “Western global elites” while calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a puppet.

Putin also directly compared his ongoing war in Ukraine to the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in 1945, which is what Victory Day commemorates. He claimed that Russia “once again” was fighting for “civilization” and he painted a topsy-turvy picture that Moscow wants peace with all nations.

“Today, the civilization is once again at a decisive, turning point and an actual war has been unleashed against our homeland again,” Putin said. “But we fended off international terrorism, we will protect residents of Donbas too and ensure our security.”

Putin’s speech made clear once more that the Russian president has no intention of negotiating currently or scaling back his ambitions to defeat Ukraine.

However, the Victory Day military parade in Moscow was a significantly shrunken version of itself on Tuesday, compared with previous years, due to Russia’s huge losses in Ukraine and its urgent need for equipment. There appeared to be approximately 50 military vehicles taking part in this year’s event compared with 130 during the 2019 parade. Tuesday’s parade was also comprised of nearly all high armored vehicles, similar to Humvees.

The flypast part of the event, which usually involves helicopters and fighter jets, was cancelled on Tuesday despite clear, sunny skies in the Russian capital. But perhaps what was most notable was the cancelling of the parade in at least 24 Russian cities due to security concerns that Ukrainian forces might be able to strike them, likely because of Russia’s shortages of troops and equipment.

May 09, 12:05 AM EDT
Air raid sirens go off across Ukraine, air defense activated in Kyiv

Air raid sirens went off across Ukraine around 5 a.m. local time Tuesday.

Air defense systems were activated in the Kyiv region.

The Russian airstrike on Kyiv was the “fifth air attack” on the capital since the beginning of May, the Kyiv City Military Administration said on Telegram.

About 15 Russian missiles were launched at Kyiv and intercepted by the Ukrainian air defenses around Kyiv with “no casualties and major damage,” the city military administration added.

May 08, 1:45 AM EDT
4 injured in Kyiv from drone debris in Russian strike

Four people were injured from falling debris after a Russian drone was shot down above Kyiv, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram.

Three of the people injured were at the site of the explosion in Solomyanskyi district of Kyiv, and one was in the Svyatoshynskyi district of Kyiv, where wreckage fell on a residential building, the mayor added.

Debris also fell on runway at the Zhulyany airport in the Solomyansky district of Kyiv, the head of the Kyiv City Military Administration Serhiy Popko said on Telegram.

In Odesa, Russian troops launched a missile attack from strategic aircraft, Ukrainian Operational Command South said on Facebook. The X-22-type rockets used by the Russians were “aimed at one of the food companies and recreational zones on the Black Sea coast,” the Operational Command South said.

Rescue services are working to put fires out, and no information about the number of people injured was immediately available, they added.

-ABC News’ Max Uzol and Natalia Kushni

May 08, 1:45 AM EDT
4 injured in Kyiv from drone debris in Russian strike

Four people were injured from falling debris after a Russian drone was shot down above Kyiv, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram.

Three of the people injured were at the site of the explosion in Solomyanskyi district of Kyiv, and one was in the Svyatoshynskyi district of Kyiv, where wreckage fell on a residential building, the mayor added.

Debris also fell on runway at the Zhulyany airport in the Solomyansky district of Kyiv, the head of the Kyiv City Military Administration Serhiy Popko said on Telegram.

In Odesa, Russian troops launched a missile attack from strategic aircraft, Ukrainian Operational Command South said on Facebook. The X-22-type rockets used by the Russians were “aimed at one of the food companies and recreational zones on the Black Sea coast,” the Operational Command South said.

Rescue services are working to put fires out, and no information about the number of people injured was immediately available, they added.

-ABC News’ Max Uzol and Natalia Kushniir

May 07, 5:21 PM EDT
Russia launches widespread air attack on Ukraine

Air alert sirens went off in several regions of Ukraine late Sunday evening as Russian forces launched a widespread airstrike on the country.

Air alert sirens went off in central and southeastern Ukraine, including in the Odesa, Kyiv, Zaporizhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson and Mykolaiv regions of Ukraine.

Kh-22 missiles were launched toward Odesa, unofficial Telegram channels reported. The air defense systems were activated in response to the attack and repeated explosions were heard in the area, unofficial channels reported.

-ABC News’ Max Uzol and Anastasia Bagaeva

May 07, 9:45 AM EDT
Leader of Russian mercenary group appears to back down from threats of mutiny

The leader of of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group appeared on Sunday to ditch plans to withdraw his forces from Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine after receiving promises overnight that they would get all the arms needed to capture the devastated city.

Yevgeny Prigozhin said in a new audio message that the Kremlin has promised to resupply his Wagner Private Military Company with as much ammunition and weapons as they need.

Prigozhin said that for the first time he received a response to the situation regarding the shortage of ammunition. He said on Saturday night that the relevant companies promised to deliver everything necessary to continue the offensive in Bakhmut.

“Overnight we received a combat order, for the first time in all this time,” Prigozhin said. “We have been promised as much ammunition and weapons as we need to continue further operations. We have been promised that everything needed to prevent the enemy from cutting us off (from supplies) will be deployed on the flank,” he added.

In addition, Russian Army Gen. Sergei Surovikin will personally deal with issues of interaction between the Wagner PMC and the Ministry of Defense, Prigozhin said. “This is the only man with the star of an army general who knows how to fight,” Prigozhin said of the Russian Defense Ministry assigning Surovikin to work alongside Wagner.

Surovikin commanded Russia’s Ukraine campaign for several months before the chief of the General Staff, Army Gen. Valery Gerasimov, was given overall operational command above him.

May 05, 12:03 PM EDT
Russian official warns it is ‘on the edge’ of a conflict with US

Russia is ready to use all means at its disposal to prevent anyone from encroaching on the security of the country in response to the recent drone attacks targeting the Kremlin, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in an interview on Russia’s Channel One Thursday.

Ryabkov said Washington is using its “puppets” in Kyiv to stage more and more dangerous provocations.

“I think that any reasonable person in any country will understand that the United States continues its escalatory policies and uses its subordinates in Kyiv, their puppets, to stage and carry out more and more audacious, more and more dangerous, acts of provocation,” he said.

He went on to say that U.S. officials may deny any responsibility and involvement in the attacks but nobody will believe them.

“We are working to prevent relations with the U.S. from plunging into the abyss of an open armed conflict. We are already standing on the edge, on the edge of this precipice,” he said.

May 05, 9:06 AM EDT
Wagner announces retreat from Bakhmut; blames Russian Defense Ministry

Russia’s Wagner mercenary group said it will retreat from Bakhmut because of severe shortages in ammunition, according to Yevgeny Prigozhin, the group’s leader. He said his forces would withdraw on May 10, blaming Russia’s defense ministry for the retreat.

Wagner has played a crucial role for months in the fighting for Bakhmut, sustaining huge casualties. The announcement and the suggestion of bitter infighting within Russia’s military forces signals division and disorganization just as Russia is bracing for a major Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Prigozhin said he was taking the decision in retaliation against Russia’s military leadership, which he accused of deliberately starving his troops of ammunition because they are jealous of Wagner’s success.

Prigozhin and Russia’s defense ministry have been in a one-sided public feud for months. Prigozhin claims it’s now reached a breaking point, delivering a blistering attack on Russia’s senior military command in the video announcing the withdrawal. He accused them of being “cowards” and of denying Russians a victory in Bakhmut because of their “petty envy.”

-ABC News’ Patrick Reevell

May 04, 12:15 PM EDT
Zelenskyy makes unannounced visit to The Hague

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for a war crimes tribunal in a surprise visit to The Hague on Thursday.

“There must be accountability for this crime. And this can only be achieved through the tribunal. … We must transform the experience of the Nuremberg trials into new operational rules. And that is why we advocate the creation of such a tribunal. We want to continue the tradition of mandatory punishment for such crimes as a guarantee of non-repetition of such aggression,” Zelenskyy said.

-ABC News’ Will Gretsky

May 04, 8:21 AM EDT
US calls Kremlin drone accusation ‘ludicrous’

Responding to Russia’s accusation that the U.S. was behind Wednesday’s drone attack on the Kremlin, White House spokesperson John Kirby said it was a “ludicrous claim.”

“There’s a word that comes to mind that I’m obviously not — not appropriate to using on national TV,” Kirby said on CNN on Thursday.

“I will just tell you Mr. Peskov is lying, and I mean, that’s obviously, it’s a ludicrous claim,” he added. “The United States had nothing to do with this. We don’t even know exactly what happened here, Kaitlin. But I can assure you, the United States had no role in it whatsoever.”

Kirby said the U.S. does not have any information on who is behind the strike but are “trying to learn more about this as best we can.”

May 04, 6:44 AM EDT
Kremlin blames US for drone attack in Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman accused the United States of being involved in the drone attack on the Kremlin on Wednesday.

“We understand well that the decision about such terror attacks are taken not in Kyiv, but in Washington,” Dmitry Peskov told reporters in a briefing. “Often targets are determined not in Kyiv but in Washington. They don’t Kyiv the right everytime in choosing the means. In Washington they also clearly understand that we know that.”

He added, “Without question. Such decisions — the determining of targets and means — are all dictated to Kyiv from Washington.”

Peskov said it was important that Washington understand the “danger” of such involvement in an attack.

May 04, 12:08 AM EDT
Russia attacks Kyiv with drones and missiles; no casualties or injuries reported

Russian forces launched a “complex air strike” with “drones and missiles” on Kyiv early Thursday morning, the Kyiv City Military Administration said on Telegram.

The air raid siren went off in Kyiv for three and a half hours during the attack, the Kyiv City Military Administration said.

There were no casualties or injuries from the strikes.

“According to preliminary information, all the missiles and UAVs were destroyed,” the Kyiv City Military Administration added.

This was the third attack on the capitol in four days, the administration said.

May 03, 5:11 PM EDT
US Embassy in Ukraine warns of ‘ongoing heightened threat of missile attacks’

The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine sent an alert to Americans on Wednesday warning of an “ongoing heightened threat of missile attacks,” including in Kyiv.

“In light of the recent uptick in strikes across Ukraine and inflammatory rhetoric from Moscow, the Department of State cautions U.S. citizens of an ongoing heightened threat of missile attacks, including in Kyiv and Kyiv Oblast,” the alert stated.

The U.S. Embassy urged U.S. citizens to follow guidance from local authorities and to observe air alarms and shelter appropriately.

May 03, 2:43 PM EDT
At least 21 killed in Kherson region shelling: Ukrainian officials

At least 21 people were killed and 48 injured by shelling in the Kherson region on Wednesday, Ukrainian officials said, as the death toll continues to rise.

A railway station and market in the city of Kherson were hit in strikes, which occurred across the Kherson region in southern Ukraine, officials said.

“A railway station and a crossing, a house, a hardware store, a grocery supermarket, a gas station — do you know what unites these places? The bloody trail that [Russia] leaves with its shells, killing civilians in Kherson and Kherson region,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Twitter.

All the victims were civilians, Zelenskyy said.

An ambulance was also damaged in the strikes, according to Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin.

“No military objects here. Just civilians, including children,” Kostin said on Twitter.

At least one person was killed and three injured in the strike on the railway station, officials previously said.

May 03, 2:00 PM EDT
White House announces $300M military aid package for Ukraine

The Biden administration has announced a new $300 million military aid package for Ukraine.

The package includes additional ammunition for U.S.-provided High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, as well as “additional howitzers, artillery and mortar rounds, and anti-armor capabilities that Ukraine is using to push back against Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression,” the Department of Defense said in a statement.

This marks the Biden administration’s 37th drawdown of equipment from Defense Department inventories for Ukraine since August 2021.

May 03, 11:50 AM EDT
At least 12 killed in Kherson shelling: Ukrainian officials

At least 12 people were killed and 22 injured by shelling in Kherson on Wednesday, Ukrainian officials said.

A market and railway station were hit in the strikes in the southern Ukrainian city, according to Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin. An ambulance was also damaged, he said.

“No military objects here. Just civilians, including children,” Kostin said on Twitter.

At least one person was killed and three injured in the strike on the railway station, officials said.

Four additional fatalities were reported from shelling throughout the Kherson region Wednesday, officials said.

May 03, 9:48 AM EDT
Zelenskyy denies involvement in Kremlin attack

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy rejected Russia’s claim that his country was involved in the drone attack on the Kremlin early Wednesday.

Zelenskyy, who is currently in Finland, said the claim was the prelude to a “large-scale terrorist attack” from Russia.

“First of all, Ukraine wages an exclusively defensive war and does not attack targets on the territory of the Russian Federation,” Zelenskyy said in a statement. “What for? This does not solve any military issue. But it gives RF grounds to justify its attacks on civilians.”

Zelenskyy went on to say that various attacks in Russia could be the result of “guerrilla activities of local resistance forces.”

May 03, 8:31 AM EDT
Russia says Ukraine tried to kill Putin in Kremlin with two drones

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman has accused Ukraine of trying to strike Putin’s residence in the Kremlin with two drones overnight, but said they were brought down before they could reach their target.

No injuries were reported, Kremlin officials said. Putin was not at the residence at the time, they said.

Videos released on official social media channels appeared to show a drone strike the roof of the Senate Palace at the Kremlin.

The Kremlin said “the Russian side reserves the right to retaliate whenever and wherever it deems necessary.”

May 03, 1:30 AM EDT
Ukrainian drone hits Russian port, causing fire

A Ukrainian drone hit a Tamanneftegaz fuel tank in the Port of Taman, Russia, at about 2:30 a.m. local time Wednesday, Kirill Fedorov, a pro-Russian blogger, said on his Telegram channel. The Port of Taman is in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait.

The fire could be seen in a video circulating online.

Local authorities confirmed the fire, which “has been assigned the highest rank,” the governor of the region said. A tank with petroleum products was hit by the drone and is burning, the governor said. No injuries were reported and there was no threat to residents, he added on his Telegram channel.

May 02, 11:45 PM EDT
All drones targeting Kyiv shot down; third attack on capital in six days

All drones that were used by Russians to attack Kyiv early Wednesday morning local time were shot down by Ukrainian air defense systems, the Kyiv City Military Administration said on Telegram.

There were no reported injuries or casualties, the military administration said.

This was the third attack on Kyiv in six days, the administration added.

May 02, 6:58 PM EDT
Explosions reported in Kyiv

Explosions were reported in Kyiv around 1:00 a.m. Wednesday local time, according to Suspilne, the Ukrainian public broadcaster.

The Ukrainian Air Defense Forces were activated in response, the Kyiv City Military Administration reported.

S-300 missiles belonging to Ukrainian Armed Forces were hit in Zaporizhzhia, the spokesman of the Odesa Regional Military Administration, Serhiy Bratchuk, said on Telegram.

Reports of damage, and number of people injured or killed were not immediately available.

-ABC News’ Ellie Kaufman and Max Uzol

May 02, 6:12 PM EDT
Explosions reported in Kyiv

Explosions were reported in Kyiv around 1:00 a.m. Wednesday local time, according to Suspilne, the Ukrainian public broadcaster.

The Ukrainian Air Defense Forces were activated in response, the Kyiv City Military Administration reported.

Reports of damage, and number of people injured or killed were not immediately available.

-ABC News’ Ellie Kaufman and Max Uzol

May 02, 12:38 PM EDT
Marine veteran killed while evacuating civilians in Ukraine

A 26-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran was killed in a mortar strike last month in Ukraine while working to evacuate civilians, his family confirmed to ABC News this week.

Cooper Andrews died on April 19 in the Bakhmut area, his cousin Willow Pastard, who is speaking on his family’s behalf, told ABC News.

The State Department announced Monday that an American citizen died in Ukraine, though did not provide more details or an identity “out of respect for the family’s privacy during this difficult time.”

“We are in touch with the family and providing all possible consular assistance,” a spokesperson for the agency said in a statement.

At least nine deaths of U.S. citizens who have volunteered to fight in Ukraine have been officially reported since the war began last year, according to the State Department.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

May 01, 3:54 PM EDT
2 dead, 40 wounded in latest Russian strikes

Two men were killed and at least 40 people, including children, were injured after Russian missiles struck Pavlograd, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other officials said.

Serhii Lysak, the head of the military administration of the Dnipropetrovsk, said 19 high-rise buildings, 25 private houses, six schools and preschool education institutions and five shops were hit by the missiles.

Five children were among the wounded officials said. The youngest victim is 8 years old, according to officials.

-ABC News’ Wil Gretsky

May 01, 3:07 PM EDT
Russia suffered 100K casualties in Bakhmut since December: White House

The U.S. estimates that Russia has suffered over 100,000 casualties, including over 20,000 killed in action, from the battles in Bakhmut since December, White House spokesman John Kirby said Monday

Half of the 20,000 killed in action were members of the Russian-backed private military Wagner Group, according to Kirby. The majority of Wagner fighters killed were allegedly ex-convicts, according to Kirby.

Kirby said that the data came from “some downgraded intelligence,” that the U.S. has been able to collect. He was unable to provide data on deaths of Ukrainian fighters.

Kirby emphasized that the U.S. thinks Bakhmut holds “very little strategic value for Russia” and if captured by Russia it “would absolutely not alter the course of the war in Russia’s favor.”

-ABC News’ Ben Gittleson

May 01, 1:41 PM EDT
State Department confirms US citizen dies in Ukraine

The State Department announced Monday that an American citizen died in Ukraine.

“We are in touch with the family and providing all possible consular assistance,” a spokesperson for the agency said in a statement.

The State Department declined to provide more details or an identity “out of respect for the family’s privacy during this difficult time.” It is not immediately clear when the death took place.

At least 10 U.S. citizen deaths in Ukraine have been officially confirmed by the State Department since the war began last year. The majority of those deaths were of Americans who volunteered to fight alongside Ukrainians, according to officials.

-ABC News’ Shannon Crawford

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

https://www.facebook.com/ksok959bobfm
https://www.facebook.com/ksok959bobfm