Kiev — all Ukraine Vladimir Putin’s military was placed under an airstrike alert on Monday morning as it stepped up its offensive on the day marking the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky marked the victory on Europe Day with a vow that “all the old evils that modern Russia brings back will be defeated, just as Nazism was defeated.”
As he did so, Kiev’s mayor said the Ukrainian capital had been hit by the most intense airstrikes since Russia’s full-scale offensive began in February 2022.
Tracer fire streaked across Kiev’s airspace overnight before a boom as Ukraine’s air defense forces intercepted an incoming Russian bomber drone with a direct hit. Authorities said a few people were wounded by knives, but there were no immediate reports of deaths from the attack in Kiev.
Oleksiy Chumachenko/Anadolu Agency/Getty
Authorities said all 35 Iranian-made drones flown in Kiev overnight were seized.
with him Ground combat largely suspended Amid apparent ammunition shortages and internal divisions, Russia has gone on the offensive ahead of a long-awaited spring counteroffensive in Ukraine, firing missiles at cities across the country for more than a week, including the latest barrage overnight.
More than a year ago, few believed that Ukraine’s massive forces could hold out against Russia for even a month.
But now, the underdog’s army — bolstered by billions of dollars in military hardware from the United States and other partners — is gearing up for a battle that could prove pivotal in the war.
Training in a quarry 15 miles from the front line, CBS News met new Ukrainian recruits who, despite a complete lack of military experience, are being trained in every weapon in the country’s arsenal, whatever the next war brings.
A soldier at the training ground, call sign “Spartacus,” has been fighting the Russians since they first invaded his country in 2014.
He said he was training recruits on both old Soviet weapons and modern U.S. and European-made equipment.
“Zhuk,” a high school history teacher who was training for a new chapter in his life as a soldier, told CBS News his goal was to “come home victorious soon.”
He said that for himself and his fellow Ukrainians, “we are all back to the normal life we all have.”
In Russia, authorities were preparing for their annual “Victory Day” celebration on Tuesday. But this year’s events, which celebrate the then-Soviet Union’s crucial role in helping defeat Nazi Germany, are being cut short, with Russian officials warning of the threat of a Ukrainian attack.
As both sides prepare for war, Ukrainian troops are determined to win the war before the end of the year. Victory is what it seems.