Ukraine update: Russia marks military holiday with missile attack on Kyiv; US to announce $1.2 billion in new military aid for Ukraine

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


Russia marked its annual Victory Day anniversary on Tuesday with another wave of missile strikes on Kyiv and a scaled-back version of its annual military parade in Moscow’s Red Square.

The annual military holiday commemorates the Soviet victory over invading Nazis in World War II. President Vladimir Putin vowed a similar triumph for his country in its “sacred” fight with the West over Ukraine. 

“Today, civilization is again at a decisive turning point. A real war has been unleashed against our homeland,” the Russian leader said in a fiery speech delivered after he observed military drills that included a display of armored tanks and nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles.  

Victory Day has taken on symbolic significance to Putin who has cast his “special military operation” in Ukraine, in part, as another fight against rising Naziism.

The Russian leader concluded his speech with a rallying cry for “Russia, for our valiant Armed Forces, for victory.”


European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen arrived in Kyiv for talks with Zelenskyy on Tuesday on the heels of another wave of Russian cruise missile strikes in the capital. Her arrival came on the European Union’s Europe Day celebrating peace and unity in Europe, which Zelenskyy formally adopted in Ukraine on Monday.

No casualties were reported in the latest wave of increased attacks ahead of Kyiv’s spring counteroffensive. Kyiv’s military administration head Sergei Popko accused Russia of once again targeting the capital’s civilian population. 

“As at the front, the plans of the aggressor failed,” Popko said.

Meanwhile, Kyiv officials mocked Moscow’s failure to capture the eastern city of Bakhmut in time to deliver a win for Putin ahead of his Victory Day speech.

“The enemy has not taken Bakhmut,” Serhiy Cherevaty, spokesman for the Ukrainian military’s eastern command, said on Tuesday. “There are no significant changes in positions.”


The U.S. is expected to announce $1.2 billion in long-term military aid to Ukraine this week that includes air defense systems, ammunition, and training for Ukrainian forces. According to Reuters, the latest package will be drawn from the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative and will bring the total U.S. aid to Ukraine to nearly $37 billion since Russia invaded in February of last year. 

The news comes as the U.S. faces a catastrophic debt default if lawmakers can’t achieve a compromise on raising the debt ceiling in a matter of weeks. Meanwhile, recent polling from the Associated Press, Pew Research, and Fox News indicates declining support among Americans for continued military assistance to Ukraine.


Ukraine’s aerial power got a major boost with the arrival of 10 MiG-29 fighter jets from Poland.

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak made the announcement Monday at a joint press conference with his Canadian counterpart, Anita Anand, per Newsweek.

“We want to support Ukraine as soon as possible,” Blaszczak said, remarking that “Russia is dangerous.”

Poland became the first NATO country to pledge long-requested fighter jets to Ukraine back in March. The news was quickly followed by an announcement by Slovakian Prime Minister Jaroslav Nad that his country would contribute 13 fighter jets to Kyiv’s defense, which arrived in Ukraine on April 17.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has repeatedly pressed Western allies for fighter jets for months — a request the U.S. has so far declined to fulfill. 

Elsewhere, Istanbul has agreed to host another round of high-level talks between Ukraine, Russia, and the United Nations May 10 through 11 aimed at continuing the Black Sea grain deal. Moscow had previously threatened to pull out of the pact on May 18, citing obstacles that have prevented its own grain and fertilizer exports.