Ukraine said it shot down more than a dozen Russian drones in the early hours of Thursday morning.
The 18 drones were among 24 launched in pre-dawn attacks across Ukraine, including a number targeting Kiev – all of which were destroyed alongside an unknown number of missiles, state officials said. city.
Administration officials in the capital said: “The Russians attacked kyiv using Shahed ammunition and missiles, probably ballistic type.”
About 15 Shahed drones were fired at the Black Sea city of Odessa, with air defenses destroying 12, according to Ukraine’s Southern Military Command.
Three of the drones hit a university complex but there were no casualties.
Ukrainian public broadcaster Suspline also reported explosions in the southern city of Zaporizhzhia, with the head of the city’s regional military administration, Yuri Malashko, confirming that anti-aircraft defenses were at work.
Russia has been bombing Ukraine regularly since October and the latest attacks come less than 24 hours after kyiv announced that 21 people had been killed in a Russian strike on the city of Kherson.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said a supermarket, train station and residential buildings were among the places affected.
Victory Day celebrations in Russia have been scaled back over fears of an attack
Is there a stalemate in the war in Ukraine – or is it the calm before the storm?
It also comes after Drone attacks on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s house in the early hours of Wednesday.
Putin described the attack as a “terrorist act”, blaming Ukraine, but Mr Zelenskyy said: “We are not attacking Putin or Moscow – we are fighting on our own territory”.
The Kremlin said the drones were disabled before they could strike, but threatened retaliation.
No casualties or damage were reported.
Click to subscribe to Sky News Daily wherever you get your podcasts
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agency RIA Novosti that Putin was working in Novo-Ogaryovo, outside Moscow at the time of the attack.
Mr Peskov said there would be no change to plans for Russia’s Victory Day parade on May 9.
The major holiday commemorates the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II and provides Putin with an opportunity to rally Russians behind his “special military operation” in Ukraine.