Smoke rises from the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol in Russia-occupied Crimea, following a Ukrainian missile strike, September 22, 2023

Friday’s Coverage: Zelenskiy Meets Biden and US Legislators

Map: Institute for Study of War


In a news conference after his address to the UN General Assembly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has dismissed the 10-point Ukraine Peace Formula.

It is completely not feasible. It is not possible to implement this. It’s not realistic.

He claimed, without evidence, “Everybody understands this, but at the same time, they say this is the only basis for negotiations.”

Lavrov proclaimed that the conflict will be resolved on the battlefield if Ukraine and the West maintain their pursuit of the peace initiative.


Russian overnight shelling has killed one person and wounded three in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.

Kherson Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said 598 shells struck in 24 hours from mortars, artillery, GRLS multiple launch rocket systems, missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and warplanes. Residential areas, medical and educational facilities, and a prison were hit.

Attacks from drones and heavy artillery were also reported in the Dnipropetrovsk region, damaging a “critical infrastructure facility and gas stations.

One person was killed and one injured in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.

The fatality in the settlement of Serebrianka, where Russian shelling damaged two homes. In Zelenyi Hai, a resident was injured amid damage to seven two-story buildings, one detached home, a community center, and industrial buildings.


Political activist Richard Rouz has been given an 8-year prison sentence over his reposting of a video about Russian war crimes in Bucha, near Kyiv.

The military court in the city of Yekaterinburg confirmed the punishment.

Rouz was detained in April last year after reposting the video of Bucha, where hundreds of civilians were killed by Russia troops before the units were forced to withdraw in early April 2022.

Russian authorities accused Rouz of spreading illegal disinformation and terror-related activity.

His wife Marya Rouz, was detained in April 2022 and released pending trial.


Ukraine’s head of cyber-defense says Russian military intelligence service GRU is using hackers against computer systems of Ukrainian law enforcement, trying to identify and obtain evidence of Russian war crimes.

Yurii Shchyhol said the hackers have escalated digital intrusion operations against the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s office and the departments documenting war crimes.

Ukraine’s cyber-defense service will publish a report next Monday on the Russian operations.


UK military intelligence notes that three commanders of Russia’s elite 247th Guards Air Assault Landing Regiment have resigned or been killed during the invasion of Ukraine.

Col. Konstantin Zizevsky was slain in the early days of the invasion. Col. Pyotr Popov resigned during the summer. His successor, Col. Vasily Popov, was killed in Ukraine’s counter-offensive in the Zaporizhzhia region in early September.

The UK analysts summarize, “The experience of the 247th highlights the extreme attrition and high turnover in Russia’s deployed military, even amongst relatively senior ranks.”


The head of Ukraine Defense Intelligence, Kyrill Budanov, says at least nine Russian troops were killed and 16 injured by Friday’s missile strikes on the headquarters of Moscow’s Black Sea Fleet in occupied Crimea.

Budanov said, “Among the wounded is the commander of the group, Col. Gen. [Alexander] Romanchuk, in a very serious condition. The chief of staff, Lt. Gen. [Oleg] Tsekov, is unconscious.”

He did not comment on claims that the Black Sea Fleet’s commander, Adm. Viktor Sokolov, was killed.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: In its latest strike on Russian occupiers in Crimea, Ukraine has seriously damaged the headquarters of Moscow’s Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol.

Friday began with the Russian Defense Ministry’s declaration that that the attack had been repelled, with the downing of one guided missile and two “aircraft-type” drones.

But video soon confirmed that the headquarters was on fire, with a rising tower of smoke. A second missile was seen diving on the building as it burned.

Sevastopol residents said they heard explosions and saw smoke. As ambulances gathered, firefighters fought a blaze, with shrapnel scattered for hundreds of meters. The Russian Defense Ministry admitted that one soldier had been killed.

By the evening, unconfirmed claims were circulating that the commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Admiral Viktor Sokolov had been slain.

Ukraine Air force spokesperson Yuriy Ihnat said, “I wanted a bigger hole to be honest.” However, he praised the UK and France-supplied Storm Shadow and SCALP cruise missiles used in the attack:

This is the best advertisement in the world of our weapons, which fly exactly on target.

For some reason, the Russian air defence cannot cope, for the umpteenth time. To be continued.

The spokesperson said the operation was completed with the help of “Russian residents of Crimea” who provided information.

“This is not only a blow to the heart of the naval forces of the Black Sea Fleet, this is a blow to the dictatorship of Putin,” he said. “Everyone will see it. This cannot be hidden.”

As it pursues the counter-offensive in the east and south of the country, Ukraine has escalated the drone and missile assault on military facilities including bases, bridges, and oil and ammunition depots.

Oleksii Danilov, the Secretary of Ukraine’s Security Council, posted on Friday:

There are two options for the future of russia’s Black Sea fleet: voluntary or forced self-neutralization.

The best and safest way to preserve the integrity of the property-economic complex of the city of Akhtiar (old name – Sevastopol) and the surrounding areas is voluntary shipwreck.

Danilov encouraged the Russians to withdraw from Crimea, occupied since spring 2014: “Otherwise, the Russian Black Sea fleet will be sliced up like a salami.”