Russia-Ukraine updates: Putin says war was ‘unleashed’ on Russia

The Russian president delivered his annual Victory Day speech.

More than a year after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, the countries are fighting for control of areas in eastern and southern Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's forces are readying a spring counteroffensive, but Putin appears to be preparing for a long and bloody war.

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Putin says Ukraine war was 'unleashed' on Russia

During his annual Victory Day speech in Moscow's Red Square on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that the Ukraine war was "unleashed" on Russia and blamed "Western global elites" while calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a puppet.

Putin also directly compared his ongoing war in Ukraine to the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in 1945, which is what Victory Day commemorates. He claimed that Russia "once again" was fighting for "civilization" and he painted a topsy-turvy picture that Moscow wants peace with all nations.

"Today, the civilization is once again at a decisive, turning point and an actual war has been unleashed against our homeland again," Putin said. "But we fended off international terrorism, we will protect residents of Donbas too and ensure our security."

Putin's speech made clear once more that the Russian president has no intention of negotiating currently or scaling back his ambitions to defeat Ukraine.

However, the Victory Day military parade in Moscow was a significantly shrunken version of itself on Tuesday, compared with previous years, due to Russia's huge losses in Ukraine and its urgent need for equipment. There appeared to be approximately 50 military vehicles taking part in this year's event compared with 130 during the 2019 parade. Tuesday's parade was also comprised of nearly all high armored vehicles, similar to Humvees.

The flypast part of the event, which usually involves helicopters and fighter jets, was cancelled on Tuesday despite clear, sunny skies in the Russian capital. But perhaps what was most notable was the cancelling of the parade in at least 24 Russian cities due to security concerns that Ukrainian forces might be able to strike them, likely because of Russia's shortages of troops and equipment.

-ABC News' Patrick Reevell

Air raid sirens go off across Ukraine, air defense activated in Kyiv

Air raid sirens went off across Ukraine around 5 a.m. local time Tuesday.

Air defense systems were activated in the Kyiv region.

The Russian airstrike on Kyiv was the "fifth air attack" on the capital since the beginning of May, the Kyiv City Military Administration said on Telegram.

About 15 Russian missiles were launched at Kyiv and intercepted by the Ukrainian air defenses around Kyiv with "no casualties and major damage," the city military administration added.-ABC News' Yulia Drozd and Yuriy Zaliznyak

4 injured in Kyiv from drone debris in Russian strike

Four people were injured from falling debris after a Russian drone was shot down above Kyiv, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram.

Three of the people injured were at the site of the explosion in Solomyanskyi district of Kyiv, and one was in the Svyatoshynskyi district of Kyiv, where wreckage fell on a residential building, the mayor added.

Debris also fell on runway at the Zhulyany airport in the Solomyansky district of Kyiv, the head of the Kyiv City Military Administration Serhiy Popko said on Telegram.

In Odesa, Russian troops launched a missile attack from strategic aircraft, Ukrainian Operational Command South said on Facebook. The X-22-type rockets used by the Russians were "aimed at one of the food companies and recreational zones on the Black Sea coast," the Operational Command South said.

Rescue services are working to put fires out, and no information about the number of people injured was immediately available, they added.

-ABC News' Max Uzol and Natalia Kushniir

Russia launches widespread air attack on Ukraine

Air alert sirens went off in several regions of Ukraine late Sunday evening as Russian forces launched a widespread airstrike on the country.

Air alert sirens went off in central and southeastern Ukraine, including in the Odesa, Kyiv, Zaporizhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson and Mykolaiv regions of Ukraine.

Kh-22 missiles were launched toward Odesa, unofficial Telegram channels reported. The air defense systems were activated in response to the attack and repeated explosions were heard in the area, unofficial channels reported.

-ABC News' Max Uzol and Anastasia Bagaeva

Zelenskyy denies involvement in Kremlin attack

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy rejected Russia's claim that his country was involved in the drone attack on the Kremlin early Wednesday.

Zelenskyy, who is currently in Finland, said the claim was the prelude to a "large-scale terrorist attack" from Russia.

"First of all, Ukraine wages an exclusively defensive war and does not attack targets on the territory of the Russian Federation," Zelenskyy said in a statement. "What for? This does not solve any military issue. But it gives RF grounds to justify its attacks on civilians."

Zelenskyy went on to say that various attacks in Russia could be the result of "guerrilla activities of local resistance forces."