Aftermath of the derailment of a train, carrying fertilizer, in the Ryazan region of central Russia, November 10, 2023

Saturday’s Coverage: Russia’s Drone and Missile Attack on Kyiv

Map: Institute for the Study of War


Ukrainian defense intelligence says three Russian guard officers have been killed in an explosion caused by local partisans in occupied Melitopol in southeast Ukraine.

The intelligence agency said the blast was in a Russian headquarters in the “New Post Office” during a meeting of officers of the Russian State security service FSB and the national guard Rosgvardia.


Russian forces caused significant damage to the Kherson Oblast Regional Library in southern Ukraine overnight.


UK military intelligence assesses that much of the Wagner Group of mercenaries has been absorbed by the Russian national guard Rosgvardia.

The analysts believe the Wagner element in Rosgvardia is being led by Pavel Prigozhin. He is the son of the former Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin, who was killed — and possibly assassinated — in the crash of his private jet north of Moscow on August 26.

Other Wagner mercenaries have likely joined the Russian “private military company” Redut. Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov has said that Wagner medics and 170 mercenaries have joined Chechen Akhmat special forces.


Germany’s coalition government has agreed to double military aid for Ukraine next year to €8 billion ($8.54 billion).

Ministers from Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats, the Free Democrats, and the Greens reached consensus in negotiations over the proposed 2024 federal budget this week.

The budget committee of the Bundestag, the lower house of Parliament, is expected to approve the additional €4 billion next week. German defense spending will increase to 2.1% of GDP in 2024.


Russian authorities have charged The European University at St. Petersburg with participation in the activities of an “undesirable organization”.

The Dzerzhinsky District Court did not give the reason for the charges. However, the Telegram channel Rotonda reports that they are linked to books, in the University’s library, published with the support of the Open Society Foundations and the Kennan Institute, part of the US-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

The university has noted that the books were published long before the law on “undesirable organizations”. They were placed in a “special closed” store and not checked out to anyone after

the law was adopted.

Instructors and researchers from the University have worked with Austria’s Central European University, designated in October as “undesirable”.


A senior Ukrainian military officer, linked to intelligence services, coordinated the bombing of Nord Stream gas pipelines from Russia to Germany on September 26, 2022, according to officials in Ukraine and elsewhere in Europe and “other people knowledgeable about the details of the covert operation“.

A joint investigation by The Washington Post and Germany’s Der Spiegel identifies Roman Chervinsky, a decorated 48-year-old colonel who served in Ukraine’s special operations forces. He arranged logistics and support for a six-person team, who rented a sailboat under false identities and used deep-sea diving equipment to place explosive charges on the gas pipelines.

The explosions under the Baltic Sea near the Danish island of Bornholm damaged three of the four pipelines of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines.

Sources said Chervinsky did not plan the operation. He took orders from superiors, who ultimately reported to Gen. Valery Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces.

Through his attorney, Chervinsky said in a written statement, “All speculations about my involvement in the attack on Nord Stream are being spread by Russian propaganda without any basis.

The officer is currently imprisoned in Kyiv on charges that he abused his power, over a plot to lure a Russian pilot to defect to Ukraine in July 2022. Prosecutors claim Chervinsky, arrested in April, acted without permission. They say the operation gave away the coordinates of a Ukrainian airfield, leading to a Russian rocket attack that killed a soldier and injured 17 others.

The Zelenskiy Government did not respond to a list of questions.


Russian forces killed a man and a woman in shelling of Toretsk in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine on Saturday.

The shelling hit residential areas with apartment blocks. The 61-year-old woman was walking down the street and the 65-year-old man was riding a bicycle.

Another person was slain in the settlement of Minkivka.


Ukrainian prosecutors say Russian forces have killed more than 1,000 civilians in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine during Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

The prosecutors issued a video report on the first anniversary of the liberation of Kherson city and areas west of the Dnipro River.

They said Russian occupiers deliberately killed 216 civilians. Since liberation, Russian shelling has slain more than 800 people including 36 children, and damaged almost 6,000 civilians.

Russia’s flooding of the region in June, after demolition of the Nova Kakhovka Dam and Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant, led to the drowning of 23 civilians.

The prosecutors cited 11 torture chambers, with four prisoners killed.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: A Russian train was derailed by sabotage on Saturday, and opponents of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine may also have caused an explosion at a munitions plant.

Russian authorities cited “unauthorized interference” as the cause of the derailment in the Ryazan region in the center of the country. Local authorities said an improvised explosive device was detonated at 7:12 a.m.

The train’s assistant conductor was injured, as up to 19 carriages, carrying fertilizer, left the tracks.

Sources in the Ukraine military intelligence service GUR claimed responsibility.

Another suspected sabotage incident was reported at a munitions factory in Kotovsk in the Tambov region on Saturday.

Witnesses said a fire, covering 300 square meters, broke out after an explosion was heard.

In June, four people were killed at the factory by an unexplained explosion.

GUR spokesperson Andriy Yusov would not officially confirm or deny information about both incidents, but said the operations would continue.

In a possible third attack, residents of Kolomna in the Moscow region heard explosions on Friday near the Machine-Building Design Bureau, which specializes in missile systems. Geolocated footage showed smoke rising from a building.

A Russian source said a drone crashed into the facility, with others claiming one or more UAVs was downed by air defenses.