Map: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1821 GMT:
The toll from Sunday’s Russian attacks on the Kherson region in southern Ukraine has risen to two killed and at least nine wounded.
Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said one bomb struck an industrial area and another hit civilian infrastructure. A 49-year-old woman working as a security guard was among those injured.
UPDATE 1524 GMT:
Russian journalist and political dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza, serving a 25-year sentence, has been transferred to a maximum security prison in Siberia and put in a small “punishment cell”.
Kara-Murza, who survived poisonings in 2015 and 2017, was sentenced in April for his denunication of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The charge arose from a speech he gave to the Arizona House of Representatives.
A tiny concrete “punishment cell” is in isolation for violating prison regulations.
UPDATE 1516 GMT:
Amid Ukraine’s counter-offensive in the Donetsk region in the east of the country, the Russian proxy “Donetsk People’s Republic” has imposed a curfew and censorship of communications.
The DPR’s leader Denis Pushilin signed a decreed setting the curfew from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. on weekdays.
Another decree establishes military censorship of mail, internet communications, and phone conversations. The Russian Federal Security Service and the DPR’s “Information Ministry” will implement and enforce the measures.
Proxy officials said the steps are to combat enemy saboteurs and reconnaissance officers.
UPDATE 1127 GMT:
A second grain ship has reached Turkey after loading in Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Chornomorsk, using a temporary corridor to run the Russian blockade.
Maritime traffic monitoring sites showed the Palau-flagged bulk carrier Aroyat arrived with 17,600 tons of wheat bound for Egypt.
The Aroyat docked in Chornomorsk last weekend and departed on Friday.
At least four other ships, trapped in Ukrainian ports since the Russian invasion of February 2022, have made it through the Black Sea since August 16.
Vladimir Putin reimposed the Russian blockade on July 17, when he ripped up the July 2022 deal allowing shipments from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports.
UPDATE 1032 GMT:
Russian shelling on Sunday has killed a woman and a 67-year-old man in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.
The attacks in Beryslav which killed the woman also destroyed private homes and injured three people, including a policeman.
On Saturday, Russian forces killed one person and injured three in 83 attacks with 332 shells.
A 53-year-old man was killed in one of 25 Russian attacks across the Zaporizhzhia region, damaging houses and infrastructure.
UPDATE 1024 GMT:
A Ukrainian drone has struck the roof of an administration building in Russia’s Kursk region.
Governor Roman Starovoit acknowledged the attack, saying there was slight damage and no casualties.
The strike was on Kursk City Day. Officials had already cancelled celebrations in the city in southwest Russia, close to the Ukraine border.
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) September 24, 2023
UPDATE 0745 GMT:
The latest Russian attacks on the Kherson region in southern Ukraine have killed one person and injured three.
Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said there were 83 attacks with 332 shells over the past day, targeting a bank in Beryslav as well as residential areas.
UPDATE 0718 GMT:
Human rights lawyers and Ukraine’s Prosecutor General are preparing a war crimes dossier, accusing Russia of deliberately causing starvation of civilians, for submission to the International Criminal Court.
Yousuf Khan of Global Rights Compliance, said, “The weaponization of food has taken place in three phases.”
The first phase of siege and bombing was just after the start of the 19-month Russian invasion. On March 16, 2022, Russian fragmentation bombs killed 20 civilians as they queued for bread and other food outside a supermarket in Chernihiv in northern Ukraine.
During the 12-week assault and siege of the port city of Mariupol, food supplies were cut and humanitarian relief corridors were blocked or bombed.
The second phase was the destruction of food and water supplies and energy sources, “objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population”.
The third has been Russian attempts to prevent or restrict exports of Ukrainian food, including a blockade in the Black Sea and missile and drone strikes on ports and grain facilities.
UPDATE 0653 GMT:
Ukraine’s counteroffensive on the southern front in the Zaporizhzhia region has broken through Russian fortifications west of the village of Verbove.
The fortifications are part of three lines of Russian defenses — with minefields, wire, “dragon’s teeth” concrete, and trenches — constructed since late 2022 to hold up any Ukraine advance.
Earlier this month, the counter-offensive finally passed the first line after the liberation of the village of Robotyne.
The commander of the southern counter-offensive, Gen. Oleksandr Tarnavsky, told CNN on Friday:
On the left flank [near Verbove] we have a breakthrough and we continue to advance further.
Not as fast as it was expected, not like in the movies about the Second World War. The main thing is not to lose this initiative.
Combat footage showed Ukrainian armored vehicles just beyond the Russian anti-vehicle ditches, dragon’s teeth, and fighting positions. Heavy equipment has been brought closer to Verbove over the past four days.
Other footage and Russian sources indicate that Ukraine forces are attacking Novoprokopivka, 1.5 km south of Robotyne.
The Institute for the Study of War assesses that Russian forces “likely still control segments of the long trench line” between Robotyne and Verbove, and there are more fortifications beyond Verbove.
However, the extent to which the positions are manned is unclear. ISW assesses that “the Russian military does not have sufficient forces deployed” to man defenses in depth, so “Ukrainian forces should be able to operate through Russian field fortifications more rapidly”.
Gen. Tarnavskyi said the counter-offensive will continue through the winter, as Ukrainian forces are mostly advancing on foot without vehicles. The objective is to reach the strategic hub of Tokmak, en route to the port city of Melitopol.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: After months of deliberation, the Biden Administration has reportedly decided to supply long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine to help defeat the 19-month Russian invasion.
Officials have told multiple outlets — including NBC, the Washington Post, and the Financial Times — that the Administration will soon begin provision of the ATACMS, which can travel 186 miles (300 km).
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Wednesday, just before Joe Biden met Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in the White House, that Biden would not supply ATACMS but “had not taken it off the table”.
However, by the end of the day, Administration personnel and a Congressional official were saying the decision had been made to deliver a “small number” of the missiles.
“People familiar with the matter” gave a more detailed explanation to the Financial Times, confirming that the ATACMS will be armed with cluster munitions rather than a single warhead
They said the decision was made before Zelenskiy’s visit to Washington. However, it was not being announced publicly — according to one source, to avoid tipping off the Russians so they move supply lines further back from the frontline inside Ukraine.
The Administration held off from meeting the Zelenskiy Government’s request for months. US officials feared a Russian response escalating their invasion, and the Pentagon was concerned that it would not retain enough ATACMS for its planning.
However, the Pentagon and other agencies have now signed off on the delivery. Supply of the cluster bomb version alleviates fears of a depletion of ATACMS stock with unitary warheads, according to the people familiar with the discussions.
The UK and France began supplying long-range missiles to Ukraine this spring. The Storm Shadow and SCALP weapons have a range of aobut 250 km (155 miles).
On Friday, the missiles damaged the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol in occupied Crimea.
However, the ATACMS can be fired from HIMARS rocket launchers rather than from Ukraine’s Soviet-era fighter jets.