Here is the situation on Wednesday, September 27, 2023.
- Russia released a video reportedly showing Viktor Sokolov, commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, at a meeting with Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and other military top brass a day after Ukrainian special forces claimed he was among dozens of officers killed in an attack on the fleet’s Sevastopol naval base. Ukraine said it was clarifying information regarding Sokolov.
- The United Kingdom’s defence ministry said “a dynamic, deep strike battle” was under way in the Black Sea after the Russian Black Sea Fleet suffered a series of major attacks.
- Kyiv said its air defences destroyed 26 of 38 Russian drones fired overnight but that some of the drones hit the Danube River port of Izmail, damaging more than 30 vehicles and injuring two drivers during a two-hour attack. The drone barrage also prompted the temporary suspension of ferry services to Romania.
- Russia, meanwhile, said it repelled several Ukrainian drone attacks over its Belgorod and Kursk regions.
- Russian shelling killed at least two people in a village in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region and injured two others in the southern Kherson region, according to local authorities.
- Russia’s former President Dmitry Medvedev said he visited troops at a firing range near the front line in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region on the orders of President Vladimir Putin. Medvedev, who is now deputy chairman of the Kremlin’s Security Council, said troops showed “excellent combat qualities of will, firmness and a general attitude to victory”.
Diplomacy and politics
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said sanctions on Russia were not sufficient to halt its “aggression” and promised new Ukrainian action against the “terrorist state”.
- Anthony Rota, the speaker of Canada’s Parliament resigned, days after he honoured a man who fought in a Nazi unit during World War II as Zelenskyy visited the House of Commons.
- Alexey Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, lost his appeal against a 19-year prison term for a raft of charges including alleged “extremist activities” that were added to his existing sentence last month. Proceedings were closed to the media.
- Five Bulgarians living in the United Kingdom charged with spying for Russia appeared in court via videolink for an initial hearing. The three men and two women were arrested in February and are accused of “conspiring to collect information intended to be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy”, namely Russia, between August 2020 and February this year. They spoke only to confirm their names.
- Washington imposed new sanctions on five Russian and 11 Chinese companies for their role in supplying drone technology components for use in the war.
- Estonia joined Germany in a joint procurement programme for ammunition for Ukraine increasing production capacity. Ammunition “is and will remain a crucial factor for Ukraine’s resilience”, said German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius.
- Zelenskyy said more than 160 companies from 26 countries in North America, Asia, Europe and Australia would attend the country’s first defence industries forum later this year.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies