Dispatches from Ukraine. Day 566.
As Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues and the war rages on, reliable sources of information are critical. Forbes gathers information and provides updates on the situation.
Kyiv region. On Sept. 10, Russia launched more than two dozen attack drones at Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, said the city’s military administrator, Serhii Popko. “Overnight, the enemy attacked Kyiv with unmanned aerial vehicles,” Popko said in a Telegram social media post. “Drones entered the capital in a couple of groups and from different directions.” Ukrainian air forces reported shooting down 26 Iran-produced Shahed drones over the capital. Fragments of the destroyed drones fell in the Shevchenkivskyi, Solomianskyi and Podil districts, damaging cars and trolley lines. Luckily, no one was seriously harmed.
Dnipropetrovsk region. A police administrative building in Kryvyi Rih, the hometown of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, was destroyed when Russia attacked the southeastern city with several missiles on Sept. 8, local officials said. Rescue operations uncovered the lifeless body of a police officer, while more than 70 others were reported injured. The Russian strike ignited a major fire that damaged multiple residential buildings surrounding the site.
Ukraine repatriated nine children who were forcibly separated from their parents, Ukraine’s ombudsman for human rights Dmytro Lubinets said on Sept. 9. “The stories of these children are impressive,” he said via social media. “I have repeatedly emphasized that each return process is like a special operation,” he continued. According to Lubinets, two of the kids spent a long time in the temporarily occupied territories away from their parents; another boy, whose age was undisclosed, was allegedly imprisoned and interrogated by the Russian authorities for an entire month, on charges that he was involved in blowing up a bridge. “For security reasons, we cannot share many details of the return, but we can share the emotions of joy,” the ombudsman wrote in a post accompanying photos of the children with their faces digitally blurred.
Front line News.
Ukraine’s counteroffensive will continue throughout the fall and winter on various fronts, Ukraine’s defense intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov said during the 18th annual Yalta European Strategy conference. The gathering, this year titled “The Future is Being Decided in Ukraine,” is organized by Ukrainian industrialist Victor Pinchuk and his foundation and has been attracting international thought-leaders, this past weekend bringing about 500 attendees from around the world, despite the risk of drone and missile attacks. Addressing the issue of escalation, feared by western partners, Budanov said: “What kind of escalation are we talking about if absolutely all types of weapons have been used, from submarines to strategic bombers?” He called for a change of perspective, emphasizing that not everything is up to the Russian Federation and other major players on the international scene. “Some things depend on us, as well,” he said.
The village of Opytne, near the southeastern town of Avdiivka has been partially liberated by Ukrainian forces, deputy defense minister Hanna Maliar said on Sept. 9. “They [the soldiers] advanced around Opytne and are now fully controlling the captured area.”
Black Sea gas and oil production platforms off the coast of Crimea, that had been under Russian occupation since 2015, are back under Ukrainian control, Ukraine’s directorate for military intelligence reported on Sept. 11. The platforms, known as the “Boyko Towers,” were reclaimed in an amphibian attack by units of Ukraine’s military intelligence, who exchanged fire with a Russian SU-30 fighter jet, the report said. The Russian jet retreated after sustaining damage. Ukrainian forces also seized a sophisticated Russian radar system and valuable helicopter munitions in the attack.
Ukraine’s long-standing ally, Lithuania, announced a further assistance package of 1.5 million rounds of essential ammo, in a press release from the country’s defense ministry on Sept. 8. The ministry also plans to deliver NASAMS (Norwegian ground-based air defense systems) to Kyiv “in a short period of time.” Military aid provided by Lithuania so far has included Mi-8 helicopters, L-70 anti-aircraft guns with ammunition, and M113 armored personnel carriers worth 500 million euros ($536 million) in total.
South Korea intends to deliver $2.3 billion worth of aid to Ukraine in 2024-25, President Yoon Suk Yeol said at the G20 summit in New Delhi, India on Sept. 10. The donation’s primary objective is to help Ukrainian people rebuild their country. The first batch ($300 million) will arrive in 2024 and the balance of $2 billion will fund long-term and low-interest loans through the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) in 2025. “This will demonstrate our responsible role as a global pivotal state in leading assistance for the restoration of peace in Ukraine,” a presidential official stated, “and lay the foundation for our full-fledged participation in Ukraine’s future reconstruction.”
Italy will help in the rebuilding of the coastal city of Odesa, Davide La Cecilia, special envoy for the reconstruction of Ukraine at the Italian foreign ministry, said at the Yalta European Strategy conference in Kyiv. Odessa’s partnerships with Italian cities, especially Venice, should help attract investments from Italian companies, La Cecilia said. “Italy will make a great contribution to the preservation of the UNESCO cultural heritage sites that are under Russian threat,” La Cecilia outlined. “We want to take the patronage of Odesa to rebuild it and turn it into a modern city. We are very attached to this city: it was founded by an Italian, it has a strong Italian community, and is part of the Italian history.”
Kyiv BookFest 2023 — a book fair and industry forum — took place September 8th to 10th in Ukraine’s capital, featuring 83 publishers and over a hundred of meetings, events and discussions.
By Daria Dzysiuk, Karina Tahiliani