Despite weeks of fear that the Kremlin may double down on its assault on Ukraine on Victory Day, Russian President Vladimir Putin did not escalate his war efforts on the anniversary marking the Allied triumph over Nazi Germany during World War II, which he celebrated with a huge parade in Moscow. Across the border in Ukraine, major cities had one of the calmest days since the invasion.
Still, the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa was struck by a volley of Russian missiles on Monday evening, including three Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, a regional Ukrainian military official alleged. Attacks earlier in the day forced European Council President Charles Michel to seek shelter during an official visit. But the Pentagon assessed that Russian forces do not have the capability to launch a ground or maritime offensive against the Black Sea port. Russian advances in the Donbas region remain “incremental” and “anemic,” a senior US defense official told reporters on Monday, as they face fierce Ukrainian resistance near cities such as Kharkiv.
To signal Washington’s resolve to back Kyiv, President Biden on Monday signed into law a bill that would expedite the process of sending military aid to Ukraine and urged Congress to approve a separate multibillion-dollar aid package for Ukraine.