Key developments on May 8:
- Russia launches missiles, drones at Kyiv, Odesa
- Russian attack injures 10 in Kherson Oblast
- Moscow blocks Grain Deal, says Infrastructure Ministry
- Drone Army's 8 new units ‘ready to fight'
- Russia deports locals from occupied parts of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, starts forced mobilization in occupied Mariupol
Russia launched another massive attack on Ukraine, injuring eight civilians on May 8.
Air defense downed all 35 Iranian-made Shakhed drones Russian forces launched against Kyiv Oblast, an Air Force Command reported.
However, downed drones still pose a serious danger to people on the ground, potentially causing injuries or fatalities.
At least five people were wounded in a Russian drone attack on Kyiv when drone wreckage fell in central and western neighborhoods, Mayor Vitalii Klitschko reported in the early hours of May 8.
Two of those injured have been hospitalized.
Russian forces attacked Odesa Oblast with up to eight Kh-22 cruise missiles, launched by Tu-22 M3 long-range bombers from occupied Crimea, Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat told national television on May 8.
"Some of them" didn't reach their targets, possibly due to self-destruction or their age "because these are outdated Soviet missiles," the military official added.
Ihnat hasn't reported downing Kh-22 cruise missiles in the region.
Russian forces struck a residential building in Dnipro on Jan. 14 with the same Soviet-era Kh-22 missile, killing 46 civilians and injuring over 70.
The May 8 missile attack "completely" destroyed a Red Cross warehouse with humanitarian aid in Odesa, the ICRC reported.
According to the report, the Red Cross employees and volunteers were not at the warehouse at the time of the missile strike.
However, Serhiy Bratchuk, an Odesa regional military administration spokesman, said early on May 8 that three "warehouse workers were lightly injured."
Odesa Regional Organization of the Red Cross of Ukraine suspended the provision of humanitarian aid following the attack.
According to the local authorities, the missile strike also destroyed a hotel in Odesa Oblast.
No casualties were reported in the attack.
Late on May 8, Russia launched a new attack against Ukraine, with Kharkiv and Dnipro under fire. No information about casualties is available at this time.
Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov reported on May 8 that eight new combat units of the so-called "Drone Army" are fully equipped after receiving pickup trucks, attack, and FPV drones.
The "Drone Army" is a joint initiative of the Digital Transformation Ministry and the governmental United24 fundraising platform. It was launched in July 2022.
Fedorov said the first three "Drone Army" units have "successful results" at the front line. All the purchased drones are made in Ukraine, said Fedorov.
On April 5, Fedorov said Ukraine's "Drone Army" acquired 3,200 drones for the military in the first nine months of the initiative.
Ukraine's military has trained some 10,000 drone pilots within the project.
Drones have become a crucial tool in modern warfare for their ability to gather intelligence, carry out targeted strikes, and reduce risks to military personnel.
Ukraine is reportedly about to launch its much-anticipated counteroffensive soon, forming combat units equipped with Western-provided hardware.
Meanwhile, Russia continues to bombard Ukraine, injuring civilians across the country.
In the village of Stanislav in Kherson Oblast Russian May 8 missile strike injured ten civilians, including a 9-year-old child, said Governor Oleksandr Prokudin.
One injured woman has been hospitalized following the attack.
Russia effectively blocks Grain Deal
Russia "effectively stopped" the Grain Deal, refusing to register cargo vessels for entry and conduct inspections, the Infrastructure Ministry reported on May 8.
The ministry said Ukraine rejects Russia's attempts to stop the registrations and inspections and calls on the UN and Turkey to react.
Such a policy makes it "impossible to draw up an inspection plan" in accordance with the current plan for both outbound and inbound checks.
As of today, 90 vessels are awaiting inspection in Turkey. More than 60 of the vessels are undergoing loading.
"Inspections of both the inbound and outbound fleet have been suspended," the ministry said.
The UN and Turkey-brokered deal, first signed in July 2022, has been vital in allowing Ukraine to export its grain via the Black Sea after Russia imposed a blockade of Ukrainian ports following its full-scale invasion.
Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi told the Kyiv Independent on Feb. 27 that it was vital not only to extend the grain deal but to increase the number of daily exports and ensure the addition of other ports in the deal.
"Exports of Ukrainian agricultural products via the grain corridor in April haven't reached three million (metric) tons," the Infrastructure Ministry, now known as the Restoration Ministry, said on May 8.
Russia evacuates its proxies, deports locals from southern occupied regions
Russia is evacuating its proxies from the occupied areas of southern Kherson Oblast, the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces said on May 8.
In the occupied port city of Skadovsk, Russia evacuated the proxies with their families and documents on the morning of May 7, the military said.
The General Staff said Russia also started evacuating its proxies from Mykhailivka, Petrivka, Shevchenka, Shyroke, Ulianivka, and Krasne settlements of Kherson Oblast.
Russian forces are also continuing the forced deportation of civilians from the southern occupied regions.
Russia is moving Ukrainian children from Tokmak to Berdiansk in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, deeper into the occupied territories, the General Staff reported on May 8.
Zaporizhzhia Oblast's port city of Berdiansk is located on the Azov Sea, around 100 kilometers southeast of Tokmak.
The proxies threaten the parents in case of refusal to "evacuate" them, the General Staff said.
More than 19,000 children have been abducted from Ukraine by Russia, according to a Ukrainian national database, while the whereabouts of thousands remain unknown.
Ukraine has so far managed to return 364 Ukrainian children forcibly relocated by Russia, and the process is ongoing.
Forced deportations and attacks against civilians violate Geneva Conventions and constitute war crimes.
Earlier, a top Russian proxy in occupied parts of Zaporizhzhia Oblast announced the partial displacement of residents of 18 front-line settlements due to alleged "increased enemy shelling" of the Russian-occupied settlements.
Moscow conducts forces mobilization in occupied territories
Russian forces in occupied Mariupol in Donetsk Oblast have begun a forced mobilization of locals, the exiled Mariupol City Council reported on May 8.
"Draft boards have started in Mariupol. The occupiers are already looking for citizens who haven't fulfilled their 'military obligations.' The enemy plans to draft men by August. Russia continues to kill peaceful Ukrainians," exiled Mayor Vadym Boichenko said, as quoted by the city council.
Public sector employees were the first to receive such notifications, according to the report.
Mariupol, located on the Azov Sea, has been occupied since May 2022 following a three-month-long siege that left most of the city destroyed
A military draft of the local population by the occupying power violates Geneva Conventions and constitutes a war crime.
In addition, the Russian military has been recruiting migrant workers from Central Asia to fight in Ukraine, the U.K. Defense Ministry reported on May 8.
Russia often recruits labor workers in mosques and immigration offices, according to the report.
The move is part of the Russian Defense Ministry's efforts to recruit 400,000 people for the war against Ukraine, the U.K. Defense Ministry added.
According to reports by Ukraine's General Staff and the Institute for the Study of War, the Kremlin had continued mobilization covertly. Estonia's intelligence chief Margo Grosberg said that Russia's mobilization had never stopped.