Here is the situation on Sunday, September 17, 2023.
- Russia and Ukraine have disputed control of the devastated village of Andriivka near Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine. Russia’s defence ministry said its forces were still holding onto Andriivka after Ukraine publicised a video that it said provided evidence its forces were in full control of the village.
- Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said the Bakhmut sector was the theatre of “the most active fighting”. “Offensive action is continuing south of Bakhmut. Things are hot in Klishchiivka and Kurdiumivka,” Maliar said on Telegram, referring to two other villages near the city. “Near Klishchiivka, as a result of offensive action, our defence forces have had successes.”
- In southern Ukraine, where Ukrainian troops were aiming to push to the Sea of Azov, Maliar said soldiers were “inflicting significant losses on the occupiers in terms of men and equipment”.
- A Russian-installed official in Ukraine’s Donetsk reported intense Ukrainian shelling in the eastern region, saying at least five civilians were killed and one wounded in the attacks.
- The Russian defence ministry reported thwarting a coordinated Ukrainian attack on the annexed Crimean Peninsula early on Sunday but did not say whether there was any damage or casualties.
- The ministry also said a Ukrainian drone was destroyed in Moscow’s Istra district early on Sunday. The incident caused the delay of 24 flights in the capital’s airports, according to the state TASS news agency.
- United States Army General Mark Milley told reporters that North Korea may be able to boost Russia’s supply of artillery munitions for the war in Ukraine but that it is not likely to make a big difference. Milley, who was travelling to Norway for NATO meetings that began on Saturday, said there is a continued need for more weapons and equipment in Ukraine and that allies and partners will be discussing how to address that.
- Norway’s chief of defence said Russian forces stationed in the Arctic near the Scandinavian country were 20 percent or less than the number they were before the Ukraine war. General Erik Kristoffersen said the move suggested that Russian President President Vladimir Putin knows “very well” that NATO is not a threat to Moscow.
- Poland will ban the entry of passenger cars registered in Russia, as part of sanctions imposed on Moscow and its citizens in connection with the war in Ukraine, state media reported, citing Interior Minister Marius Kaminski.
- North Macedonia ordered the expulsion of three more Russian diplomats, in the third such move since Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
- In the Czech Republic, thousands of protesters rallied in Prague to demand the government’s resignation over high energy prices as well as its support for Ukraine.
- Russian-installed authorities in Crimea said they planned to sell about 100 Ukrainian properties, including one belonging to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The sale contracts amounted to more than 815 million roubles ($8.51m), an official said.
- Ukrainian authorities said two cargo vessels have arrived in its Black Sea port of Chernomorsk to load almost 20,000 tonnes of wheat bound for African and Asian markets. The two ships were the first to use a temporary corridor to sail into Ukraine’s Black Sea ports after Russia abandoned a deal to let Kyiv export grain.
- Farmers in Romania asked their government to unilaterally ban the import of Ukrainian grain and other food products, after the European Union decided to lift restrictions on the goods. Romania is one of five eastern EU countries alongside Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia that saw a surge of Ukrainian grain imports after Russia’s invasion, which distorted prices in local markets.