Here is the situation on Sunday, September 24, 2023.
- Ukraine launched another missile attack on Sevastopol in Russian-occupied Crimea, according to officials, a day after an attack on the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet left a serviceman missing and the main building smouldering.
- Ukraine’s intelligence chief, Kyrylo Budanov, told Voice of America that Kyiv’s attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet on Friday killed at least nine people and wounded 16 others. He claimed that Alexander Romanchuk, a Russian general commanding forces along the key southeastern front line, was “in a very serious condition” following the attack. Budanov’s claim could not be independently verified.
- Elsewhere, Ukraine’s military said Russia launched 15 Iranian-made Shahed drones at the front-line Zaporizhia region in the southeast as well as Dnipropetrovsk province farther north. It claimed to have destroyed 14 of the drones.
- Separately, the Governor of Zaporizhia Yuri Malashko said that Russia had carried out 86 raids on 27 settlements in the province on Friday. Malashko said that an 82-year-old civilian was killed by artillery fire.
- In the neighbouring Kherson region, Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said at least one person was killed and three were wounded over the past day because of Russian shelling.
- Mykhailo Podolyak, an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said Ukrainians had no illusions about the prospects of a long, drawn-out war. “Are the Ukrainian people happy about the prospect of a long war of attrition? Absolutely not. We are following this path only because there is no other way today. That is why our task is to hold out one day longer than the enemy. And we will do it. Because, unlike Russia, we have no choice,” he said in a post on X.
- Ukrainian commanders on the front lines of the fighting told Reuters news agency that heavy weapons supplied by the West, including the Polish-made Krab gun and the United States-made M109 self-propelled howitzer, were inflicting a significant toll on enemy lines. “They [the Russians] hate our hardware. That’s what we gather from our intercepts. We hear that we keep giving them hell and they keep wondering how much ammunition we have left,” a Ukrainian commander identified as Oleksandr told the agency.
- Zelenskyy, who was on his way home after addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York, said he met Sudan’s army chief and de facto ruler General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan during a stopover in Ireland. The two leaders talked of “common security challenges, particularly the activities of illegal armed groups financed by Russia”, he said.
- The Ukrainian leader also made a stopover in Poland to hand out state awards to two Polish volunteers, but did not meet any officials as relations between the two countries are strained over grain imports.
- Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who was also in New York to attend the UN General Assembly, told journalists that the latest UN proposals to revive the Black Sea grain initiative were unrealistic. “We explained to the secretary general why his proposals won’t work. We don’t reject them. They’re simply not realistic. They cannot be implemented,” he said.