Russian large-scale attack against Ukraine, hitting energy infrastructure

Russian forces launched a large-scale overnight attack on Ukrainian cities on May 8, deploying cruise and ballistic missiles, rockets, and Shahed-type drones, according to Ukraine's Air Force.

Ukraine's Energy Ministry reported that energy infrastructure was targeted in Poltava, Kirovohrad, Zaporizhzhia, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Vinnytsia oblasts. Damage assessments are underway, and restoration efforts are already in progress to restore electricity and power generation capacity.

Ukraine's largest private energy company, DTEK, reported that three thermal power plants were damaged in the recent attacks, describing the damage as "serious" but not specifying their locations.

In Poltava Oblast, a Russian drone struck a critical infrastructure facility, causing a fire, according to regional governor Filip Pronin. Residents in Kyiv reported hearing explosions around 5:30 a.m. local time. The Kyiv Oblast Military Administration also reported explosions near the capital.

In the city of Brovary in Kyiv Oblast, falling debris from a Russian missile caused a fire at a civilian infrastructure site, reported Mayor Ihor Sapozhko. Two people, a woman aged 62 and a man aged 34, were hospitalized as a result. The falling debris damaged one residential building, 14 homes, and a car, leading to power outages in the area.

In Kirovohrad Oblast, Russian forces hit the Oleksandriiskyi district, injuring an 8-year-old child and damaging 13 houses and nearly 30 garages, according to Governor Andrii Raikovych.

Russian forces struck an energy infrastructure facility in the Chervonohrad district of Lviv Oblast with cruise missiles at around 5 a.m., said Governor Maksym Kozytskyi. Another facility in the Stryi district was also targeted. A second attack in Lviv Oblast around 6:30 a.m. involved a Russian Kinzhal hypersonic missile, with no reported casualties or damage to infrastructure.

The attacks began around 4:30 a.m., with multiple explosions reported in Zaporizhzhia, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Poltava oblasts. Ukrainian air defense systems were active across all regions, including in Kyiv and as far west as Lviv.

In response to the attacks, Poland's Air Force, along with allied forces, scrambled aircraft to protect Polish airspace. The increase in Russian missile and drone strikes has led to a critical shortage of air defense systems in Ukraine, partly due to delays in passing U.S. military aid.

President Volodymyr Zelensky urged international partners to provide further air defenses, warning that failing to do so would give Russia a "global license for terror." He emphasized the need for swift action, stating that lengthy discussions were not sufficient in the face of escalating Russian aggression.

Ukrainian-born Congresswoman Spartz wins Republican primary

Victoria Spartz, who represents the Republican Party in the U.S. House of Representatives

Republican Congresswoman Victoria Spartz, the first member of the U.S. Congress born in Ukraine, defeated her Republican challengers in a primary vote held on May 7, securing a spot on the ballot for the general election in November.

Spartz beat back eight challengers in a highly contested field, establishing her candidacy for reelection in a solidly Republican district in Indiana. Given the political landscape, she is favored to win reelection.

Born in a small city in Chernihiv Oblast, Spartz moved to the U.S. in 2000. She became the first Ukrainian-born member of Congress in 2021 and is known for her staunch support of former President Donald Trump.

After Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Spartz supported aid for Ukraine and often spoke about the war from a personal perspective. However, she also attracted controversy for her criticism of President Volodymyr Zelensky and the head of the Presidential Office, Andriy Yermak.

Over time, Spartz shifted her stance on U.S. aid to Ukraine, calling for more "accountability" and criticizing President Joe Biden's strategy on the U.S.'s role in the war. In April, Spartz told the Wall Street Journal that she had "largely moved on from focusing heavily on Ukraine."

In April, Spartz was among 112 Republicans in Congress who voted against aid for Ukraine, in contrast to all Democrats and 101 Republicans who supported the bill, which ultimately passed and was signed into law by Biden on April 24. Spartz justified her vote by pointing out that the bill did not address domestic border and immigration issues, echoing a common argument among Republicans opposing aid for Ukraine.

Spartz's main challenger, Chuck Goodrich, criticized her support for Ukraine in his campaign ads, claiming that she prioritized Ukraine over domestic issues. Despite these attacks, Spartz defeated Goodrich by a six-percentage-point margin.

In her statement after the victory, Spartz said, "My victory in this election is a testament to the American people and my fellow Hoosiers (Indianians) that money and lies do not buy elections."

Russian attack on Kharkiv injures seven people, including children

Russia launched an attack on the city of Kharkiv on May 8, injuring at least seven people, including four children, according to the regional Prosecutor's Office.

The attack occurred around 1:30 p.m. local time, hitting an educational institution, as reported by Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov. The strike targeted the stadium area of a school in the Saltivka district. The Prosecutor's Office stated that among the injured were three boys, aged 14 and 15, and an eight-year-old girl. Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov mentioned that one of the children was in serious condition.

Additionally, a 55-year-old man and two women were injured in the attack.

Russia has recently intensified attacks on Kharkiv, deploying missiles, glide bombs, and drones to damage energy infrastructure and harm civilians.

Earlier, Russian forces struck a residential area in downtown Kharkiv, injuring 16 people on Orthodox Easter on May 5. These ongoing attacks demonstrate Russia's continued aggression and the significant threat posed to civilian areas and infrastructure in Kharkiv. Local authorities are working to respond to the damage and assist those injured.