Heavy fighting rages in Ukraine’s east as the Black Sea port of Odesa came under Russian missile attack and Moscow stepped up is assault on a Mariupol steel plant where the last Ukrainian defenders continue to put up stiff resistance.

In the eastern regions of Luhansk, Kharkiv, and Dnipro, air-raid sirens could be heard early on May 10.

Meanwhile, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on May 10 that the Ukrainian economy was set to contract by almost one-third this year in the wake of Russia’s invasion.

The London-based bank said Ukraine’s output was set to contract by 30 percent compared with an EBRD forecast of minus 20 percent given in March, shortly after Moscow’s military invasion.

The EBRD added that Ukraine’s economy would rebound by 25 percent next year, up from its March forecast of 23 percent.

The British Ministry of Defense said in its daily intelligence bulletin on May 10 that Russia’s misjudging of Ukrainian resolve resulted in failures on the battlefield and stopped Russian President Vladimir Putin from boasting success during his speech at the May 9 military parade in Moscow.

Underestimating Ukrainian resistance led to “demonstrable operational failings,” the ministry said, “preventing Putin from announcing significant military success” on May 9.

Putin instead justified Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine as a necessary move for “defending the motherland,” a claim Britain said mirrored the fascism and tyranny that sparked World War II.

Putin, who presided over the Red Square parade to mark the Soviet Union’s role in the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, reiterated his claim that NATO was creating threats right next to its borders and that the invasion of Ukraine was a necessary preemptive action.

In his own speech marking the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy likened the Allies’ fight against Hitler with his nation’s struggle to repel Russia’s aggression.

“We will never forget what our ancestors did in World War II, where more than 8 million Ukrainians died. Every fifth Ukrainian didn’t return home,” Zelenskiy said, adding, “soon there will be two Victory Days in Ukraine.”