Ukrainian officials say air defenses downed 15 Russian cruise missiles which were launched overnight against the capital, Kyiv.

According to a senior Kyiv military official, Serhiy Popko, no casualties were recorded from the attack.

He said he believed the missiles had been launched by four bombers flying from the Caspian Sea region.

The new missile attacks came hours before Russia was due to celebrate Victory Day.

The 9 May holiday commemorates the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany during World War II.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has compared the Ukraine war – which he falsely defines as a battle against a “neo-Nazi regime” – to Adolf Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union.

Ukraine’s air force wrote on Telegram that “overnight into the ‘sacred’ May 9, Russia, launched an attack on the territory of Ukraine,”

Mr Popko said Russian forces were trying “to kill as many civilians as possible on this day”.

The latest attacks come after Ukraine said Russia launched its biggest drone attack of the war yet on Sunday night.

That wave of drone and missile strikes killed at least one person and injured five.

As Russia prepares for the main event of Victory Day – a military parade – the mood is one of nervousness in Moscow.

A series of explosions, drone attacks, and sabotage rocked Russia over the past week including an alleged drone attack on the Kremlin.

Moscow blamed Ukrainian drones but Kyiv denied any involvement.

BBC/Taiwo Akinola

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