Here is the situation as of Wednesday September 20, 2023.
- The New York Times reported that Ukraine was likely responsible for a massive explosion in Kostiantynivka earlier this month that killed at least 16 people in a busy market after a missile veered off course. Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhailo Podolyak condemned the report, calling it fueling “conspiracy theories”, but said the circumstances behind the explosion were under investigation. “In the meantime, we must not forget: it was Russia that launched the invasion of Ukraine, and it is Russia that is responsible for the war in our country,” he said.
- Russia launched a wave of drone attacks on the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, killing at least one person and sparking a large fire at an industrial warehouse where two people were injured.
- At least three people were killed in a Russian attack on the northeastern city of Kupiansk, Kharkiv Governor Oleh Synyehubov said.
- Ukrainian air defense systems destroyed 27 of 30 drones and one ballistic missile launched by Russia over the southern, central and western regions of Ukraine, the Air Force said.
- The war in Ukraine was a key topic for many world leaders speaking at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
- At UN headquarters, for the first time since Moscow launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged world leaders to show unity in the face of “the Russia’s continued ‘aggression’ in Ukraine, telling delegates that Moscow was “militarizing food and energy.”
- US President Joe Biden told the UNGA that the world must remain united in Ukraine’s defense, asking leaders to oppose Russia’s “naked aggression” to deter other potential aggressors. “I ask you this: If we abandon the fundamental principles of the United States of appeasing an aggressor, can any member state of this body have the certainty of being protected? Biden said in his speech. “I respectfully suggest the answer is no.”
- Also addressing the gathering, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country would step up efforts to end the war in Ukraine. “We will intensify our efforts to end the war through diplomacy and dialogue on the basis of Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity,” Erdogan said.
- Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, meanwhile, called for negotiations to end the war in Ukraine, saying no lasting solution would be found if it was not based on dialogue. “I reiterated that we must work to create a space for negotiation,” Lula said. “We invest a lot in weapons and very little in development. »
- Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to visit Beijing in October for talks with China’s Xi Jinping, in the Russian leader’s first trip abroad since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for him for alleged war crimes. The two last met in Moscow in March. Beijing has not condemned Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine but has called for peace talks.
- British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi should push Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine and emphasize to Moscow the importance of respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity. Wang is currently in the Russian capital.
- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu arrived in Iran to “help strengthen Russian-Iranian military ties,” Russian news agency TASS reported.
- US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has urged his country’s allies to “dig deep” and provide more air defense systems to Ukraine. “Air defense saves lives,” Austin said during the opening of a meeting of the Ukrainian Defense Contact Group (UDCG) at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
- Austin also said Ukraine would “soon” receive M1 Abrams tanks from the United States. Washington promised 31 tanks to kyiv earlier this year.
- British Defense Minister Grant Shapps said his country would supply “tens of thousands” of additional artillery shells to Ukraine this year. Shapps was speaking after the UDCG meeting.