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Victory Day unfolds quietly in Ukraine as Putin defends invasion

Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 9 spoke from Moscow’s Red Square on Victory Day, defending his country's military action in Ukraine. (Video: Reuters)

This live coverage has ended. For Tuesday’s live updates, click here.

After weeks of rising fears and forecasts of escalation, Monday — Russia’s Victory Day holiday — unfolded relatively quietly in Ukraine, with limited reports of fighting and no visible sign of a new attempt by Moscow to further expand its invasion or formally declare war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin did not mention Ukraine by name in his speech commemorating the Allied victory in World War II, but he repeated a litany of bogus claims about the country and his so-called “special military operation” there, falsely saying his army is fighting “executioners, punishers and Nazis.” In Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelensky also marked the holiday, paying tribute to the 8 million Ukrainians who died in World War II and likening Putin to Adolf Hitler, saying the Russian leader is “following Nazi philosophy.”

Here’s what else to know

  • Rescue efforts at a school in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine that was hit by a Russian airstrike Sunday have been halted after further strikes in the area, a local official said. Dozens are feared dead or buried under the rubble.
  • Russian users of smart TV systems reported that the services were hacked Monday with a message: “The blood of thousands of Ukrainians and hundreds of murdered children is on your hands. TV and the authorities are lying. No to war.”
  • Russia has resumed attacks on Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant after 300 women, children and elderly people were evacuated from the site last week, an aide to the city’s mayor said Monday.
  • The Washington Post has lifted its paywall for readers in Russia and Ukraine. Telegram users can subscribe to our channel.

War in Ukraine: What you need to know

The latest: Russia fired at least 85 missiles on at least six major cities in Ukraine on November 15, in one of the most widespread attacks of the war so far. The strikes came just hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, speaking by video link, presented a 10-point peace plan to G-20 leaders at a summit in Indonesia. As in previous Russian missile attacks, critical civilian infrastructure appeared to be primary targets. Parts of several cities that were hit were left without electrical power on Tuesday afternoon.

Russia’s Gamble: The Post examined the road to war in Ukraine, and Western efforts to unite to thwart the Kremlin’s plans, through extensive interviews with more than three dozen senior U.S., Ukrainian, European and NATO officials.

Photos: Washington Post photographers have been on the ground from the beginning of the war — here’s some of their most powerful work.

How you can help: Here are ways those in the U.S. can support the Ukrainian people as well as what people around the world have been donating.

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