Here are the key events so far on Monday, May 9.
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- President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in a statement to mark the anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany in 1945, said Ukraine would win the war with Russia: “The road to is difficult, but we have no doubt that we will win.”
- President Vladimir Putin led anniversary celebrations in front of troops, saying the February 24 intervention in Ukraine was aimed at stopping an eventual Western-backed invasion of Russian territory including Crimea, a region Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
- He offered no evidence to back his claim, and Ukraine said there had been no plans to attack Russia or Crimea.
- Putin evoked the memory of Soviet heroism in World War II to inspire his army but offered no new roadmap to victory in Ukraine and acknowledged the cost in Russian soldiers’ lives.
- Russian forces bombed a school in eastern Ukraine killing about 60 people, Zelenskyy said.
- Ukraine is bracing for more missile attacks, an adviser to the interior minister cautioned, as he urged citizens to “please, take air alerts very responsibly today”.
- Forces are also struggling to hold on to the nearly surrounded city of Severodonetsk, the easternmost city still held by Kyiv which, if captured, would give Russia de facto control of Luhansk – the smaller of the two republics comprising the eastern war zone.
- The British Ministry of Defence warns Russia is running out of precision-guided munitions, meaning Moscow will increasingly turn to inaccurate rockets and bombs that can spread destruction even wider.
- More than 170 civilians were evacuated from the Mariupol area bringing the total to about 600 given safe passage during a weeklong rescue operation, the United Nations said.
- The deputy commander of the Azov regiment holed up in the sprawling Azovstal steel plant has pleaded with the international community to help evacuate wounded soldiers.
- Ukrainian fighters at the steelworks pledged to continue their stand as long as they are alive.
- Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin said he visited Mariupol on Sunday, the most senior Russian official to set foot in the city after weeks of bombardment.
- The United States unveiled sanctions against three Russian television stations, banned Americans from providing accounting and consulting services to Russians, and sanctioned executives from Gazprombank.
- Irish rock group U2’s frontman Bono and his bandmate The Edge performed a 40-minute concert in a metro station in Kyiv and praised Ukrainians fighting for their freedom.
- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made an unannounced visit to the Ukrainian town of Irpin, which was retaken from Russian troops in late March, the town’s mayor said.
- US First Lady Jill Biden also made an unannounced trip to Ukraine to show support for its people, visiting a school that is serving as a shelter and meeting Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska.
Victory Day parade
- Russia is poised to hold its annual parade on Monday, marking the Soviet victory in World War II, where its military might will be showcased amid Moscow’s ongoing campaign in Ukraine.
- The Group of Seven leaders said in a statement that they would reinforce Russia’s economic isolation and “elevate” a campaign against Russian elites who support Putin.
- Trudeau said his government will help Ukraine work out options on how to export stored grain to uphold global food security.
- European Union governments moved closer to agreeing on tough sanctions against Russia that include a ban on buying its oil but scheduled more talks for Monday to work out how to ensure countries most dependent on Russian energy can cope.
- The EU should consider using frozen Russian foreign exchange reserves to help pay for the cost of rebuilding Ukraine after the war, the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in an interview with the Financial Times.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies