After a month of hide-and-seek, Kyiv revealed the mystery of the explosions at Russian military bases on the annexed Crimea peninsula. “It’s about a series of successful rocket attacks on the air bases in Crimea, primarily around the Saki airfield,” Commander-in-Chief Valeryi Zalushnyi wrote in an article for the state news agency Ukrinform.
He did not say which missiles were used. According to him, the Ukrainian armed forces, whose defensive struggle is likely to last into next year, want to expand such attacks in the future, but they need new weapons from Western partners. Zalushnyj called missiles with a range of up to 300 kilometers for the US Himars missile launchers.
The Ukrainian nuclear company Enerhoatom accuses the Russian troops of abducting and mistreating power plant employees in the occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. “About 200 people have already been arrested. We don’t know what happened to some of them. There is no indication where they are,” Enerhoatom president Petro Kotin told Funke media group newspapers (Thursday). He also spoke of Ukrainian employees being killed or tortured.
There has been a heated exchange of blows in the United Nations Security Council over allegations of Russian deportation camps in the Ukrainian war zone. The US government has accused the Russian military of forcing people arrested in the war zone into such camps and then taking them against their will to Russia or Russian-held areas of Ukraine.
According to estimates, between 900,000 and 1.6 million people were deported from their hometowns, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said at a UN Security Council meeting in New York on Wednesday. The Ukrainian UN delegation even claims that up to 2.5 million people have been deported from the south and east of the country, often to distant regions of Siberia or Russia’s far east. An independent confirmation of such figures in the war zone is hardly possible.
The Ukrainian army seems to be making progress in its counterattack against the Russian invaders in the east of the country. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his video address on Wednesday that there was “good news from the Kharkiv region”. Officially, the events are not commented on because of an information block. Videos and photos from recaptured villages around Balaklija are piling up on social networks. According to Russian correspondent reports, the Ukrainian army is attacking there at a width of 20 to 30 kilometers. According to these sources, the Russian units are under considerable pressure, and some units are threatened with encirclement.
Apparently, there were also gains in the south in the Cherson region. Presumably under the impression of this offensive, the Russian military administration wants to postpone referendums on the accession of the occupied southern Ukrainian territories to Russia until November 4th. Previously, an appointment in the first half of September was considered the desired date.
As a political threat to Moscow, Ukraine imposed sanctions on 606 members of the Russian leadership. “You are responsible for Russia’s war against Ukraine,” said Zelenskyy. Of the 32 members of Russia’s Security Council chaired by President Vladimir Putin, 28 were put on Ukraine’s criminal list. There are 424 of the 450 deputies in the Russian State Duma and 154 of the 170 senators in the Federation Council. Selenskyj did not say who was exempt in each case.
That will be important on Thursday
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will also take part in the deliberations on military aid to Ukraine in Ramstein. The US is expected to announce a new arms shipment package. Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) is taking part in the meeting at the US air force base on behalf of Germany. Russia wants to bring up the Western arms deliveries on Thursday evening at the UN Security Council in New York.