Ukrainian authorities on Thursday ordered compulsory evacuations of civilians in the Kherson region, in the south of the country, partly controlled by Russian forces and regularly targeted by bombings.
What there is to know
- Russia claims to have destroyed five Ukrainian naval drones in the Black Sea;
- Ukrainian air defense destroyed 17 Russian aerial drones;
- A Ukrainian strike left one dead in the Russian village of Tiotkino;
- The International Criminal Court (ICC) has opened an office in Kyiv, “the largest” outside The Hague;
- Ukraine finally denied having captured the village of Andriïvka, south of the devastated town of Bakhmout, from Russian forces;
- The tour to Kazakhstan of a group of Russian comedians who performed in a region of Ukraine occupied by Russia was canceled;
- Russia announced Thursday the expulsion of two American diplomats;
- Ukrainian pilots successfully completed initial training on Gripen fighter jets provided by Swedish Defense;
- Bulgaria has decided not to extend the ban on imports of Ukrainian grain beyond September 15;
- Some 22,000 Hasidic pilgrims gathered in the Ukrainian city of Uman to celebrate the Jewish New Year despite the war.
“The Kherson Regional Defense Council has decided to compulsorily evacuate families with children from localities subject to constant enemy fire,” Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said on Telegram.
In the Kherson region, Russian troops control areas south of the Dnieper River, after their withdrawal last year from the city of Kherson, the regional capital, regularly targeted by bombings.
The Ukrainian authorities had already recommended in August the evacuation of civilians from around ten localities in the Kharkiv region, in the northeast, in the face of a local offensive by Russian forces. However, these evacuations were not obligatory.
Mr. Prokoudine also indicated that regional authorities were preparing for “emergency situations” next fall and winter for electricity supplies.
Russia carried out a massive bombing campaign on Ukrainian infrastructure in the winter of 2022, causing regular power outages.
Russia claims to have destroyed naval drones in the Black Sea
Russia claimed to have destroyed five Ukrainian naval drones in the Black Sea overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, as well as several aerial drones in the annexed Crimean peninsula and in western Russia, without reporting any casualties.
“On Thursday at around 5 a.m. local time (10 p.m. Eastern Time), the Ukrainian armed forces attempted to attack the Black Sea Fleet patrol vessel “Sergei Kotov” in the Black Sea using five naval drones,” he said. communicated the Russian Ministry of Defense on Telegram.
The five devices were destroyed by fire from the Russian ship, added the ministry, which did not provide information on possible damage or casualties.
The “Sergueï Kotov” had already been targeted by Kyiv on at least two occasions this summer, according to Moscow.
Furthermore, on the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014, “air defense assets destroyed eleven aerial drones” early Thursday, the Russian Defense Ministry reported, without reporting any possible injuries or damage.
On Wednesday, Ukrainian missile fire against a shipyard in Sevastopol, home port of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, damaged two boats undergoing repairs and injured 24 people according to Russian authorities. Kyiv, for its part, welcomed the operation, describing it as “successful”.
The Ukrainian security services were also delighted on Thursday to have destroyed an S-400 “Triumph” anti-aircraft defense system in annexed Crimea.
“Last night, the military counterintelligence services of the SBU and the Navy carried out a unique special operation near Yevpatoria”, “destroying” a “Triumph” system using “drones and (cruise) missiles Neptune,” a source within the SBU told AFP.
During the night from Wednesday to Thursday, the border regions of Bryansk and Belgorod, in western Russian territory, were also targeted by Ukrainian aerial drones.
In four separate statements, Russian Defense indicated that six drones had been shot down over the territory of the western region of Bryansk, which borders Ukraine.
There were no casualties or damage, according to local governor Alexandre Bogomaz.
Earlier, Russian Defense reported that another Ukrainian drone was shot down on Wednesday evening over the Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine’s Kharkiv region further south.
Ukrainian drone offensives against Russian territory and annexed Crimea have increased in recent months against the backdrop of a counter-offensive by Kyiv that began at the beginning of June.
Attacks off Ukraine have intensified since Russia withdrew in July from a deal that allowed Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea despite the conflict.
Kyiv claims to have shot down a total of 17 Russian drones
Ukrainian air defense destroyed 17 Russian aerial drones overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, the Kyiv Air Force reported Thursday morning, without providing information on possible damage or casualties.
“A total of 22 launches of (drones) “Shahed” were observed” towards the regions of Mykolaiv (south), Zaporizhia (south), Dnipropetrovsk (center-east) and Sumy (northeast), indicated on Telegram Ukrainian forces say Moscow is responsible for the attack.
“According to the results of the night’s combat operations, 17 of the 22 enemy air attack drones “Shahed-136/131” were destroyed by anti-aircraft defense,” added the same source.
The Ukrainian Air Force did not provide information on possible damage or casualties or say where the planes were shot down.
Moscow regularly rains Iranian-made “Shahed” type explosive drones on the Ukrainian rear.
Since the abandonment in July of the grain agreement which allowed Ukraine to freely export its production, Russia has also increased attacks in the southern regions of Odessa (South) and Mykolaiv, where ports and crucial platforms for trade on the Black Sea.
During the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, Russian aircraft targeted the south of the Odessa region, damaging port infrastructure in the district of the city of Izmail and leaving seven injured, according to the local governor.