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Ukrainian forces attempt strike on Kherson amid V-Day – governor

Kiev forces have tried hitting the Russian-held city of Kherson as it was holding its first large-scale Victory Day celebrations since 2014, Vladimir Saldo, who heads the regional military-civilian administration, said on Monday.

Several missiles from a Uragan multiple rocket launcher system have been fired from the direction of the Ukrainian-held city of Nikolaev, Saldo told Russia’s Tass news agency.

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“They were all shot down by the Russian military’s air defenses… Kherson was the target,” the official insisted.

The administration later said on Telegram that five missiles were fired at the city. The Ukrainian military has yet to comment on the incident.

On Monday, a large crowd took part in the ‘Immortal Regiment’ procession, which is traditionally held in Russia and some other countries on Victory Day to commemorate those, who fought against the Nazis.

According to Saldo, Victory Day celebrations included “the maximum possible attributes in the current circumstances” such as a concert, the laying of flowers and a field kitchen, which handed out free military-style meals to the participants.

Kherson, a strategically important port city in the southern coastal part of Ukraine, was the first major city to fall under Russian control after the start of its military operation.

Russia attacked Ukraine following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

READ MORE: Russia’s Ukraine operation ‘preemptive’ – Putin

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join NATO. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

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