- Ukrainian forces make gains in the Zaporizhzhia Region
- Russia boosts idea that Ukraine was responsible for killings in Kostyantynivka
- Anti-air defenses thwart Russian drone attack
- Drones shot down over Belgorod and Oryol
- British promise more long-range missiles and artillery rounds
- US Secretary of Defense laments loss of 280,000 tons of grain
Russia says it downed four drones within its borders
Russia’s Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday that its air defenses shot down four Ukrainian drones on Wednesday, one in Belgorod and one in Oryol, AFP reported.
This was the second time in a week that Ukrainian drones have targeted Belgorod, which brushes up against the border. This is the first such strike on Oryol, which is more than 150 km northeast of Ukraine.
The Russian Ministry said in online updates that first two drones were shot down at about 9:00 p.m. Kyiv time (no locations were given), while the strike on Oryol took place at about 10:30 p.m., and the Belgorod attack about an hour after that.
No injuries or property damage on the ground were reported.
Operations: Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions
Ukrainian forces made gains in western Zaporizhzia on Tuesday, confirmed by geolocated footage. According to a Russian military blogger, Ukraine’s forces in Zaporizhzhia, overall, have advanced along a front seven to nine kilometers wide and seven kilometers deep in the area of Robotyne (10 km south of Orikhiv) since the counteroffensive began.
AFU infantry coming under ATGM and artillery fire in the infantry trench southwest of Verbove.— imi (m) (@moklasen) September 18, 2023
High-Res by @DefMon3 @UAControlMap @GeoConfirmed pic.twitter.com/hmq7KpNdm0
Meanwhile, the heaviest fighting on the 573rd day of the Russian full-scale invasion remains centered around the
Poltova hit by overnight Russian drone attack
Ukraine's armed forces said Wednesday they had destroyed 17 out of 24 Russian drones launched overnight, while an oil refinery was hit, according to a regional governor.
During the night, Russia "attacked Ukraine with 24 kamikaze drones of the Shahed-136/131 type, 17 of which were destroyed by Ukrainian air defence," the General Staff said in a daily update, as reported by AFP.
Information regarding the consequences of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks was still being clarified, it added.
In the central Poltava region, an oil refinery was struck, according to the regional governor Dmytro Lunin. "Tonight the Russians repeatedly attacked Poltava region.
Our anti-aircraft defence worked well against enemy anti-aircraft missiles," he said on Telegram.
"Unfortunately, there is a hit at the oil refinery in Kremenchuk. A fire started. All relevant services are on site. The work of the plant is temporarily suspended."
He said that so far, there were no known casualties.
UK to send tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition to Ukraine
The British Minister of Defense Grant Shapps told reporters after a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Germany on Tuesday that the UK will provide “tens of thousands” of artillery rounds to Ukraine this year. Shapps added that the British are also planning in the coming months to send the types of long-range missiles that NATO has been hesitant to provide Ukraine for fear of provocative strikes on Russian territory.
“Today we've demonstrated the UK's unwavering commitment to Ukraine and set out more military support, including pledging tens of thousands more artillery shells to enable Ukraine to defend itself,” Shapps stated at the conference.
Russia pushes narrative that Kostyantynivka market massacre was Ukraine’s doing
On Tuesday, the spokesperson for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, latched onto recent media speculation that Ukrainian forces had caused the deadly Sept 6 explosion in a crowded market in the Kostyantynivka in the Donetsk region. At the time, her boss, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, was at a meeting of the UN Security Council along with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who blamed the Kremlin for the missile strike.
On Monday, the New York Times posted results of their investigation into the massacre, stating that analysis of missile fragments and video footage of the incident indicated that it was a Ukrainian 9M38 missile, not a Russian one, that had missed its target, killing 17 and wounding 32 others.
Zakharova made a point of promoting this theory, Reuters reported, saying, “Even if it was unintentional, it’s obvious to everyone: the complete demilitarization of the Kyiv regime is not just a requirement, but a vital necessity.”
US Defense Secretary says destroyed Ukrainian grain could have fed 10.5M people for a year
Speaking at the Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting in Germany, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin
“In recent months, Russia has continued to target Ukraine’s ports and its grain infrastructure,” Secretary Austin said in his speech. “These attacks so far have destroyed at least 280,000 tons of grain. That’s enough to feed as many as 10.5 million people for a year. Russia’s attacks continue to threaten global food security—and to risk needless humanitarian crises around the planet.”
Austin also highlighted that the M1 Abrams promised to Ukraine “will be entering Ukraine soon.”
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