Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (L) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) at the US Capitol, September 21, 2023 (Win McNamee/Getty)

Jump to Original Entry

Monday’s Coverage: Russia Assault on Avdiivka Slows

Map: Institute for the Study of War


The toll from this morning’s Russian attack on Kherson city (see 0843 GMT) in southern Ukraine has been raised to two killed and four injured.

One of the two fatalities was Ruslan Anisenko, a volunteer of the Spravzhni (Real Ones) organization.

The Russian assault was on International Volunteer Day, created by the UN General Assembly to pay tribute to volunteers worldwide.

Three doctors suffered minor injuries in an attack that targeted a local medical facility. A 72-year-old man was wounded and hospitalized.


One civilian has been killed and five injured by Russian shelling of Chasiv Yar in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.

Prosecutors said Russian troops shelled the area with Grad rocket systems for two hours.

A 50-year-old resident died from injuries at the site of the attack. Four women and one man suffered shrapnel injuries. The oldest is in a serious condition.


Ukraine’s air force commander, Lt. General Mykola Oleshchuk, says anti-aircraft gunners shot down a Russian Su-24M tactical bomber near Zmiinyi (Snake) Island in the Black Sea.

Oleshchuk said the bomber was downed as it tried to launch missiles on the Odesa region in southern Ukraine.


Ukraine security services say drones struck a Russian oil terminal in Feodosia in occupied Crimea this morning.

An official said the facility is vital in providing fuel to Russian troops: “The consequences for Russians are rather significant, as about 30 fuel tanks were located on the territory of the terminal.”

The security services also claimed that drones hit Russia’s Nebo-M radar system near Baherove, and a helicopter pad, Terek P-18 radar system, and Baykal-1M surface-to-air missile units control system near Strilkove.


Russian children have been shown shooting at targets with the faces of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, US President Joe Biden, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

The children were filmed on Saturday at a festival, “Peaceful Warrior of the Russian Federation”, in Tomsk in Siberia in eastern Russia.


Finland’s customs agency is investigating two Finnish companies suspected of violating European Union sanctions on Russia.

The companies may have exported drones and other military classified products worth more than €3 million ($3.25 million) to Russia.

The agency said six people are being investigated, one of whom has been detained since September.

About 3,500 were approved for export to a different nation, but found their way into Russia. One company oversaw the purchase of the sanctioned products and the other forwarded the goods to Russian territory.


Slovak truck drivers have suspended a blockade of the freight border crossing with Ukraine after four days.

The Slovak truckers had joined Polish counterparts, who have blocked three crossing with Ukraine. They are demanding that the European Union allow the reinstatement of a permit system limiting the number of Ukrainian hauliers.

The head of the Slovak UNAS truckers’ association, Stanislav Skala, said the suspension of the blockade followed some truck drivers — caught in a miles-long queue — threatened to block roads far away from the crossing.

UNAS leaders will meet later today to consult on further action.

On Monday, Ukraine and Poland agree to open an alternative crossing to try and clear some of the 2,500 trucks which have been held up by the Polish blockade from November 6.


A Russian attack has killed at least two people and wounded one in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.

The strike, about 9 a.m., killed a 48-year-old man and a woman.

Presidential Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak posted, “Terrorists”, with two images of people lying on a pavement.

Regional prosecutors opened a war crimes investigation.

Kherson Mayor Roman Mrochko said two doctors were wounded in an artillery strike on a medical facility early Tuesday.


Nepal has asked Russia not to recruit its citizens for military service, immediately sending back any Nepali soldiers serving in Moscow’s military.

The request follows the killing of six Nepali troops with the Russian army.


“The government of Nepal has requested the Russian government to immediately return their bodies and pay compensation to their families,” Nepal’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday.


The Ukraine Air Force says air defenses downed 10 of 17 Iran-made attack drones launched by Russia overnight.

The Russians also fired six S-300 anti-aircraft guided missiles.

The governor of the Lviv region in western Ukraine, Maksym Kozytskyy, said three drones struck an infrastructure target. A fire was started, but damage had been minimal and no casualties were reported.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will address the US Senate on Tuesday at a critical moment for American aid to Kyiv’s resistance of the 21-month Russian invasion.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer confirmed that Zelenskiy will speak by video during a classified briefing so senators can “hear directly from him precisely what’s at stake”. The session will also be addressed by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and other senior national security officials.

Earlier on Monday, White House Budget Director Shalanda Young warned Congressional leaders, including Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson, that US Government funds supporting Ukraine will soon be exhausted.

I want to be clear: without congressional action, by the end of the year we will run out of resources to procure more weapons and equipment for Ukraine and to provide equipment from U.S. military stocks. There is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment. We are out of money and nearly out of time.

In October, a small group of hard-right Republicans and Trumpists — having ousted Johnson’s predecessor Kevin McCarthy — blocked a Biden Administration request for more than $100 billion in budget authorization, including $61.4 billion for Ukraine, assistance for Israel and Taiwan, and funds for border security.

See also Ukraine War, Day 623: Top US Officials Urge Congress to Authorize $11.8 Billion in Economic Aid to Kyiv

Playing to the group, Johnson removed any funds for Kyiv from a continuing resolution keeping the US Government open in November.

In the past week Johnson has signalled that he is ready for passage of Ukraine aid. However, Republicans have insisted on including draconian border security provisions in the legislation.

Bills for any US Government appropriations must begin in the House, rather than the Senate.

“Stark Choice” Over “Fight For Freedom” v. Putin

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Monday:

Congress has to decide whether to continue to support the fight for freedom in Ukraine as part of the 50-nation coalition that President Biden has built, or whether Congress will ignore the lessons we’ve learned from history and let Putin prevail.

It is that simple. It is that stark choice, and we hope that Congress on a bipartisan basis will make the right choice.

Schumer has set a procedural vote later this week on support of the Biden Administration’s $106.4 billion proposal. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that his party is “still at the table” over the aid.

During the Russian invasion, Congress has allocated $111 billion to assist Ukraine, including $67 billion in military procurement funding, $27 billion for economic and civil assistance, and $10 billion for humanitarian aid. Budget Director Young wrote on Monday that all of it except about 3% of the military funding has been spent.