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Russia Launches Overnight Missile Barrage Against Ukraine

Ukrainian air defense downs a Russian missile over Kyiv Tuesday morning. Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP

Ukraine was hit by a barrage of Russian missiles for the second night in a row Monday and early Tuesday, just hours before Moscow's planned May 9 celebration of the anniversary of Nazi Germany’s defeat in the Second World War.

Russia fired 25 missiles between late Monday night and early Tuesday morning, according to the Ukrainian Air Force, which said that 23 of the missiles were destroyed by air defense systems. 

The missiles were reportedly aimed at the capital Kyiv and parts of eastern Ukraine. 

In Kyiv, mayor Vitali Klitschko said debris from a downed missile fell into the yard of a private residence, but added that there were no casualties.

One person in the city of Dnipro was reportedly injured by debris that fell on a four-story building.

Images posted online showed the charred remains of missiles that had been shot down by Ukrainian air defense, which has been aided in recent weeks by U.S.-made Patriot surface-to-air missile systems. 

The latest missile attack came just hours before Russian President Vladimir Putin was set to give a speech in Moscow at a parade celebrating the Soviet Union’s defeat over Nazi Germany in the Second World War, a spectacle aimed at projecting an image of military might and fueling patriotic fervor.

The barrage also coincided with a visit by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to Kyiv, her fifth such trip to the Ukrainian capital since Russia launched its invasion last year. 

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