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Current frontline in the Ukraine war shows "significant" breakthrough – explosion in Crimea


Highlights: Russia reports new drone attacks – and is likely to be on the defensive in the Zaporizhzhia region. Ukraine seems to have attacked the main base in Crimea again. US Chief of Staff Mark Milley rejected the impression that Ukraine had allegedly failed with its counteroffensive. Germany is putting pressure on Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and calling for an increase in defense spending. The information processed here comes from international media and news agencies, but also from the warring parties.

Status: 22/09/2023, 04:48 a.m.

By: Robert Wagner, Jens Kiffmeier, Franziska Schwarz, Bona Hyun, Christian Stör


Russia reports new drone attacks – and is likely to be on the defensive in the Zaporizhzhia region. News ticker on the Ukraine war.

  • Successes of the counteroffensive: Ukraine forces Russia on the defensive in Zaporizhzhia region
  • Ukraine's counteroffensive: Kyiv is advancing 200 to 300 meters a day, according to NATO admiral
  • Weapons for Ukraine: Klitschko hopes for "Taurus" delivery
  • The information processed here comes from international media and news agencies, but also from the warring parties Russia, Ukraine and their allies. In particular, the information on losses of the armies involved in the Ukraine war cannot be independently verified.

Editor's note: This ticker has ended. You can follow the current developments in the war in our new news ticker.

Update from September 17, 22:31 p.m.: Russia's Black Sea Fleet has apparently experienced another setback: Ukraine seems to have attacked the main base in Crimea again. On Sunday evening, there were initially three loud explosions in Sevastopol, followed by several smaller ones, as reported by the Suspilne news agency. According to some reports, this attack was a coordinated action by Ukrainian intelligence and the Ukrainian Navy.

Explosion in Crimea: Ukraine attacks Sevastopol

The exact locations of the explosions remained unclear for the time being, as the Ukrainian military leadership did not reveal any details. Nevertheless, Sevastopol has recently been repeatedly the target of attacks on the part of Ukraine. Recently, a landing craft and two submarines were destroyed with the help of drones. Military experts suspected that these attacks on the Black Sea Fleet were part of a purposeful tactic to significantly influence the front line in the Ukrainian conflict.

Current course of the front: Ukraine liberates Klishchiivka from Russia

Update from September 17, 20:01 p.m.: The Ukrainian military has now officially announced the recapture of the village of Klishchiivka in the east of the country, which has long been occupied by Russian troops. "I can confirm that this has been achieved thanks to the efforts of the 80th Airborne Assault Brigade, the 5th Assault Brigade and the combined brigade of the National Police," the Ukrayinska Pravda newspaper quoted an army spokesman as saying on Sunday. Earlier, a photo of Ukrainian soldiers had already appeared in the locality.

Update from September 17, 17:40 p.m.: In view of some movements on the front line, the US has paid its respects to Ukraine: US Chief of Staff Mark Milley rejected the impression that Ukraine had allegedly failed with its counteroffensive. "They didn't fail. I know that there are some comments that this offensive somehow failed. It did not fail," the officer emphasized in an interview with the US broadcaster CNN. There have been partial successes, and Ukraine also has great combat power. The counteroffensive was slower than expected, Milley said. But she was "consistent".

Loss for Russia: Ukraine offensive brings success to Klishchiivka

Update from September 17, 16:32 p.m.: Russia's front line is coming under pressure: Ukraine may have reportedly successfully recaptured the city of Klishchiivka. Andriy Yermak, the head of the presidential office in Kyiv, has published a picture of Ukrainian soldiers raising the national flag in front of a church. Yermak commented on the picture on his Telegram channel, saying: "Ukraine always takes back its territory." This city, which was occupied by Russian troops in January 2023, is located south of the embattled city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region. Military experts believe that this could put the Russian army behind, as they now run the risk of being pinched from the north and south.


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Stoltenberg warns: Germany must increase defense spending

Update from September 17, 15:14 p.m.: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is putting pressure on Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and calling for an increase in defense spending. In the Cold War, when Konrad Adenauer or Willy Brandt ruled, the military budgets were three to four percent of economic output, Stoltenberg told the newspapers of the Funke media group. It was similar in his native Norway. "We did it then, and we have to do it again today," the NATO chief said. Stoltenberg recalled the decision of the NATO summit in Vilnius, according to which two percent of gross domestic product is "the minimum" for military spending. He assumes that many allies are likely to exceed this goal.

Ukraine shifts the course of the front at Robotyne

Update from September 17, 12:48 p.m.: Is there currently a shift in the course of the front in the south in the Ukraine war? At the town of Robotyne (Zaporizhzhia region), Ukraine has now "probably" made a "significant" tactical breakthrough. This was reported by the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

The Ukrainian fighters would now concentrate there on a section of the front about 2.6 kilometers long, the ISW analysis of September 16 continued. However, Ukraine has not yet completely broken through the Russian defensive line of vehicles and other heavy equipment, it said.

For weeks, the Ukrainian army has been working its way through heavily mined Russian defense lines as part of its counteroffensive near Robotyne. A week ago, according to its own statements, it had recaptured another 1.5 square kilometers around the recently liberated village of Robotyne.

Fighting in Zaporizhzhia in the course of the counteroffensive (archive image from June 2023) © Efrem Lukatsky/AP/dpa

Russia builds bulwark against Ukraine offensive near Tokmak

Update of September 17, 11:38 a.m.: In view of Ukrainian successes in the counteroffensive in the south of the country, Russia has strengthened the defensive positions of the occupied city of Tokmak, according to British assessment. Around the strategically important place, which is about 16 kilometers from the front, anti-tank systems have been erected and new trenches have been dug, said the Ministry of Defense in London on Sunday in its daily intelligence update.

"Tokmak is preparing to become the linchpin of Russia's second main line of defense," it added. "Improvements to the city's defenses are likely indicative of Russia's growing concern about Ukraine's tactical breakthroughs through Ukraine's first main line of defense further north."

Ukraine reports new figures on Russia's losses in the Ukraine war

Update of September 17, 9:48 a.m.: The Ukrainian General Staff has published new figures on Russia's losses. According to the report, a good 530 Russian soldiers were killed or injured in the fighting within one day. Initially, the information could not be independently verified.

  • Soldiers: 272,320 (+530 the previous day)
  • Tanks: 4620 (+4)
  • Armored combat vehicles: 8828 (+4)
  • Artillery systems: 6003 (+15)
  • Anti-aircraft systems: 523 (+2)
  • Vehicles and tankers: 8537 (+12)
  • Combat and reconnaissance drones: 4742 (+4)
  • Source: Data from the General Staff of Ukraine as of September 17, 2023
  • Note:According to calculations by independent Russian media from the beginning of July 2023, around 47,000 Russian soldiers have been killed in the Ukraine war so far. These figures are very different from those published by the Ukrainian side. British intelligence, on the other hand, places the figures in the middle of these claims.

London: Russia intensifies defense of the occupied city of Tokmak

Update of September 17, 9:16 a.m.: Russia is strengthening the defense lines of the occupied city of Tokmak because Ukraine is achieving success with its counteroffensive. This is how British intelligence services currently assess the military situation. Around the strategically important place, which is about 16 kilometers from the front, anti-tank systems have been erected and new trenches have been dug, the Ministry of Defense in London said today in its daily intelligence update.

"Tokmak is preparing to become the linchpin of Russia's second main line of defense," it added. "Improvements to the city's defenses are likely indicative of Russia's growing concern about Ukraine's tactical breakthroughs through Ukraine's first main line of defense further north."

Ukraine forces Russia on the defensive in Zaporizhzhia region

Update of September 17, 7:59 a.m.: The Ukrainian counteroffensive is forcing the Russians on the defensive in Zaporizhzhia. This is the assessment of the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in its latest analysis of the situation at the front. The advance of the Ukrainian defense forces in the west of the region probably means that the Russian aggressors are currently forced to redeploy their elite units.

Russia: Attacks with drones towards Crimea and Moscow repelled

Update from September 17, 6:28 a.m.: Russia destroyed six Ukrainian drones en route to the Crimean peninsula early Sunday morning. This was announced by the Russian Ministry of Defense, according to the state agency Tass. In addition, a drone attack on Moscow was repelled – a Ukrainian drone was destroyed in the Istra district, it said.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin wrote on his Telegram channel that no casualties or damage from falling debris had been reported so far. Specialists from the emergency services are on site.

Update of September 16, 23:19 p.m.: The Armed Forces of Ukraine successfully repelled more than 16 Russian attacks in the areas around Klishchiivka and Maryinka in the Donetsk region on Saturday (September 20). This was reported by the newspaper Ukrainska Pravda on the basis of a summary of the General Staff of the Ukrainian army. There are said to have been 30 fightings. According to the report, the Russians fired missiles and carried out 50 air strikes and 22 attacks with missile salvo systems on positions of Ukrainian troops and populated areas. The civilian population of the city of Kharkiv is also said to be affected by missile attacks. "Russian terrorist attacks" are said to have resulted in deaths and injuries.

Ukraine gelingt Schlag gegen Russen-Stützpunkt im besetzten Tokmak im Süden des Landes

Update vom 16. September, 21.53 Uhr: Die Streitkräfte der Ukraine haben am Samstag (16. September) in der besetzten Stadt Tokmak im Süden der Ukraine offenbar gezielt den Ort beschossen, der den russischen Besatzern als Stützpunkt und innerhalb der Stadt dient. Das behauptet der Bürgermeister des ebenfalls besetzten Melitopol, Iwan Fjodorow, auf seinem Telegram-Kanal. „Heute ist es in Tokmak, das die Besatzer in eine Militärbasis verwandelt haben, wieder laut geworden“, schrieb der Fjodorow, wie unter anderem die Zeitung Ukrainska Pravda berichtete. „Geschenke“ der ukrainischen Verteidigungskräfte hätten ein Lager für militärische Ausrüstung getroffen und wohl auch russische Soldaten getötet. „Es gibt weniger Besatzer“, heißt es in der Nachricht.

Fjodorow soll ergänzt haben, dass mit dem Näherrücken der Frontlinie an Tokmak solche „Ankünfte“ häufiger werden. Der Melitopoler Bürgermeister wies auch darauf hin, dass in dieser Woche bereits das russische Pass-Amt zusammen mit FSB-Mitarbeitern und einem Teil der Besatzungsverwaltung aus Tokmak nach Melitopol evakuiert wurde. Beide Städte liegen in der südukrainischen Oblast Saporischschja, ein Zentrum der ukrainischen Gegenoffensive.

Ukraine rückt mit Gegenoffensive täglich 200 bis 300 Meter vor

Update vom 16. September, 20.16 Uhr: Die Ukraine dringt im Rahmen ihrer Gegenoffensive die russischen Invasionstruppen täglich rund 200 bis 300 Meter zurück. Das ist die Einschätzung von Nato-Admiral Rob Bauer, die er auf der Jahreskonferenz des Nato-Militärausschusses in Oslo machte. „Die Russen verlieren daher jeden Tag 200, 300 Meter“, sagte der Niederländer laut der Deutschen Presse-Agentur.

Ein schnellerer Vormarsch sei wegen der enormen Menge russischer Minen nicht möglich. Es gebe kilometerweit Minenfelder mit fünf bis sechs Minen pro Quadratmeter, die die Ukrainer zurückhielten. „Sie müssen buchstäblich vorwärts kriechen, um durchzukommen“, so Bauer. Nach seiner Einschätzung liegt der langsame Vormarsch nicht an fehlender Munition. Moskau kontrolliert einschließlich der bereits 2014 annektierten Schwarzmeer-Halbinsel Krim derzeit rund 100 000 Quadratkilometer ukrainischen Staatsgebiets.

Update vom 16. September, 17.30 Uhr: Erstmals seit der Aussetzung des Getreideabkommens durch Russland sind nach Angaben der Regierung in Kiew zwei Frachter auf dem Weg zu ukrainischen Häfen und nutzen dazu einen temporären Korridor durch das Schwarze Meer. Die beiden Schiffe sollten Getreide für afrikanische und asiatische Märkte laden, teilte der ukrainische Vizeregierungschef Olexander Kubrakow bei Facebook mit.

Klitschko hofft auf „Taurus“-Lieferung

Update vom 16. September, 16.45 Uhr: Der Bürgermeister der ukrainischen Hauptstadt Kiew, Vitali Klitschko, drängt die Bundesregierung zur raschen Lieferung weiterer Waffen und des Marschflugkörper-Systems vom Typ „Taurus“. „Für jede Verzögerung zahlen wir Ukrainer den höchsten Preis: Das kostet das Leben unserer Patrioten, unserer Soldaten“, sagt er der Süddeutschen Zeitung. Dies habe er „exakt so“ auch Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz bei einer Begegnung am Donnerstag in Berlin gesagt: „Die Unterstützung der Ukraine ist ein Schlüssel für den Frieden in Europa.“

Update vom 16. September, 15.38 Uhr: Es bleibt zunächst unklar, ob es der Ukraine gelungen ist, das Dorf Andrijiwka im Osten des Landes zurückzuerobern. Schon am Freitag hatte das ukrainische Militär die Einnahme durch die eigenen Soldaten gemeldet (s. Update v. 10.35 Uhr). Russland bestreitet dies. Der Feind habe erfolglos versucht, die russischen Truppen zu vertreiben, teilte das Verteidigungsministerium in Moskau mit. Gleichzeitig stellten ukrainische Soldaten neue Videoaufnahmen der Operation ins Netz. Sie zeigen Offensivaktionen von Soldaten der 3. Kompanie des 1. Sturmbataillons der Brigade.

Update vom 16. September, 14.30 Uhr: Russland hat am Morgen den Bezirk Kholodnohirsk in Charkiw mit fünf S-300-Raketen angegriffen. Dabei seien fünf Zivilpersonen verletzt worden, wie Oleh Syniehubov, der Leiter der Regionalverwaltung, auf Telegram mitteilte. Zuvor hatte er von vier Raketenangriffen gesprochen.

Kim besichtigt Waffen in Russland

Update vom 16. September, 13.40 Uhr: Nordkoreas Machthaber Kim Jong-un hat bei seiner Russland-Reise gemeinsam mit dem russischen Verteidigungsminister Sergei Schoigu Waffen begutachtet. Ein Video des Verteidigungsministeriums zeigte Kim und Schoigu lächelnd bei der Inspektion einiger der modernsten Atombomber Russlands auf dem Flugplatz Knewitschi nahe Wladiwostok. Zuvor war Kim in der ostsibirischen Hafenstadt von Schoigu mit einer Ehrengarde empfangen worden (s. Update v. 6.23 Uhr).

Update vom 16. September, 12.30 Uhr: Das ukrainische Stromnetz könnte im Winter erneut Ziel russischer Angriffe sein. Davon geht das britische Verteidigungsministerium aus. In Russland würden seit Monaten die Bemühungen betont, die Produktion von luftgestützten Marschflugkörpern zu erhöhen, hieß es in London. Es gebe zudem Anhaltspunkte dafür, dass Russland seit April weniger dieser Geschosse einsetzt. Auch dadurch sei es wahrscheinlich, dass Russland einen bedeutenden Bestand an Marschflugkörpern aufbauen kann. „Es besteht die realistische Möglichkeit, dass Russland diese Waffen im Winter erneut gegen ukrainische Infrastrukturziele richten wird.“

Russische Brigade laut Ukraine komplett „vernichtet“

Update vom 16. September, 11.40 Uhr: Das ukrainische Militär hat im Gebiet Saporischschja offenbar kleinere Erfolge erzielt. „Der Feind wird aus seinen Stellungen zurückgedrängt, unsere Kämpfer festigen ihre Positionen“, meldete der Generalstab. Demnach ziehen sich russische Truppen zurück, um keine Männer zu verlieren. Auch im Gebiet des Dorfes Klischtschijiwka bei Bachmut werden Erfolge gemeldet.

Update vom 16. September, 10.35 Uhr: Das von der Ukraine zurückeroberte Dorf Andrijiwka ist ukrainischen Angaben zufolge vollständig umzingelt worden. Der Führungsstab einer russischen Schützenbrigade seien dabei getötet und Teile der Brigade eingeschlossen worden, heißt es vonseiten der Ukraine. Die gesamte russische 72. Brigade sei „vernichtet“ worden: „Die Zerstörung dieser russischen Armeeeinheit reißt ein Loch in die russische Verteidigung südlich von Bachmut und verkompliziert die Situation für die russische Armee weiter.“

Hohe Verluste für Russland im Ukraine-Krieg

Update vom 16. September, 9.30 Uhr: Der Generalstab der ukrainischen Armee hat neue Zahlen zu den Verlusten der russischen Streitkräfte im Ukraine-Krieg veröffentlicht. Demnach sind binnen 24 Stunden etwa 350 Soldaten aus Russland „eliminiert“ worden. Zudem sollen vier Panzer und 16 Artilleriesysteme Russlands zerstört worden sein. Die Angaben lassen sich nicht unabhängig prüfen.

Russian airborne commander killed in Ukraine

Update from September 16, 7:58 a.m.: In the Ukraine war, a high-ranking Russian airborne commander has apparently been killed. As reported by the US Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Vasily Popov, commander of the 247th Guards Air Assault Regiment, was killed in fighting at an undisclosed location in Ukraine. The ISW refers to pro-Russian Telegram channels and the independent Russian media portal Mediazona.

Russian military blogger Egor Guzenko was the first to report on the death of the elite commander, it is said, in a voice message on September 10. According to him, Popov had only recently been at his post, he was "a good man and a hero." Three other men died with him.

Washington confirms: Zelensky travels to Biden in the United States

Update from September 16, 7:05 a.m.: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will visit the United States next week. Zelensky will be received by US President Joe Biden at the White House on Thursday, Biden's National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan confirmed. The Ukrainian president is also likely to meet representatives of the US Congress in Washington.

Zelensky will first take part in the general debate of the UN General Assembly in New York next week and then travel on to Washington. Zelensky is likely to solicit further US support in the Ukraine war.

Next step in the arms deal? Shoigu receives Kim Jon Un with guard of honor

Update from September 16, 6:23 a.m.: During his trip to Russia, North Korea's ruler Kim Jong Un met Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Saturday, according to an agency report. The encounter took place at the Knevichi airport in the eastern Russian city of Vladivostok, the Russian state news agency Tass reported. Kim was received by Shoigu and a guard of honor.

Kim has been in Russia since Tuesday, his first official trip abroad since the Corona pandemic. On Wednesday, he met Vladimir Putin at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in eastern Russia. The West fears that Russia wants to buy armaments from North Korea for its offensive in Ukraine. At the same time, North Korea is suspected of wanting to acquire technologies from Russia for its nuclear and missile programs.

Russian soldiers accidentally drop aerial bomb on occupied city

Update from September 15, 21:10 p.m.: Russian forces apparently accidentally dropped an aerial bomb on the occupied city of Nova Kakhovka in the Kherson region. This was announced by the spokeswoman for the Ukrainian Task Force South, Natalia Humeniuk, at a press conference on September 15.

The spokeswoman explained that Russian forces intended to fire the bomb at the Ukrainian-held right bank of the Dnipro River, but the launch failed and the projectile fell on the occupied city instead. Several apartment buildings were damaged, Humeniuk said

New weapons for Ukraine: US could provide long-range missiles

Update from September 15, 16:20 p.m.: The U.S. may soon provide Ukraine with a limited number of long-range ATACMS missiles to support Ukraine's counteroffensive. This is reported by the newspaper Ukrainska Pravda, citing the Wall Street Journal, which claims to have received this information from unnamed officials of the Biden administration. According to them, the US government's plans currently under discussion include the delivery of a limited number of missiles. This limitation is intended to allay the Pentagon's concerns about overuse of U.S. stockpiles.

Biden has not yet agreed to the delivery, but allegedly a transfer of the ATACMS to Kyiv is being considered this fall. In this way, the Ukrainians should be able to overcome the extensive defenses of the Russian armed forces in the south of the country more quickly. The Financial Times recently reported that President Biden is close to making a decision on the deployment of the ATACMS to Ukraine.

Ukraine's attack on the Black Sea Fleet allegedly causes Russia's soldiers to panic

Update from 15 September, 15.11 p.m.: The extremely successful strike by the Ukrainian army against a Russian shipyard on the occupied Crimean peninsula on Wednesday (13 September) apparently succeeded with the help of a Russian soldier. At the beginning of the week, he had given Ukraine details that are said to have made the devastating drone attack on Moscow's Black Sea fleet in the port city of Sevastopol possible in the first place. In this attack, a Russian landing ship and a nuclear-capable submarine as well as the port infrastructure were severely damaged, the consequences of which could keep the Russians busy for a very long time.

Ukrainian partisans involved in identifying Russian military targets claimed to the Kyiv Post that they had won over a "military member of the Russian Black Sea Fleet." He had received ongoing up-to-date information about the stationing and possible combat missions of the demolished submarine "Rostov-on-Don". The partisans emphasized that much of the information comes from "ordinary residents of Sevastopol" who provide them with "constant information about Russian troops."

According to him, the mood in the Russian armed forces in Crimea is worrying. Wednesday's drone strike opened their eyes and "terrified" them. The Russian soldiers have now realized that the inhabitants of Crimea are ready to fight against Russia. Previously, they believed Russian propaganda and considered all Crimean Ukrainians to be pro-Russian. However, the Kyiv Post could not confirm all the details of the partisan reports.

Pistorius on Taurus missiles for Ukraine - decision may take another week or two

Update from September 15, 13:41 p.m.: The decision to supply Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine may still take about one to two weeks, according to German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD). If it takes that long, "then so be it," the minister said. This does not mean any hesitation on the part of the Federal Government. "The Federal Republic of Germany must afford this prudence, even if it is difficult for our Ukrainian friends to understand," Pistorius said at the first "Westphalian Peace Conference" in Münster.

Germany must weigh up the consequences at every step. Cruise missiles go further than any other weapon supplied so far and are a "highly complex industrial product," the minister said. Of the approximately 500 Taurus missiles, half are not up to date. The other half needs an update and needs to be programmed. Ukraine has been pushing for the delivery of German Taurus cruise missiles to Kyiv for some time.

Belarus: Satellite images indicate dismantling of the camp of Wagner mercenaries

Update from September 15, 11:43 a.m.: Satellite images apparently show the dismantling of the Wagner camp in Belarus. This is reported by the Reuters news agency. According to the report, the dismantling of tents has been observed in the course of the past few weeks at the Tsel military base in the Mogilev region southeast of the Belarusian capital Minsk. This may indicate that the base of the Russian Wagner mercenaries is in disarray.

The corresponding pictures are said to have been taken from the end of July to the beginning of September and show a gradual dismantling of the tents. However, it is not possible to determine exactly what will be changed in the warehouse. After their failed coup, the Wagner Group was transferred to Belarus, where the Wagner mercenaries caused many irritations and international tensions.

Ukraine war: Massive Russian drone attack averted

Initial report: Kyiv – According to its own statements, the Ukrainian air defense repelled an attack by Russian combat drones on the Khmelnytskyi region in the west of the country on Friday night. All 17 Iranian-made Russian drones used were shot down, the air force said. The military data could not be independently verified.

According to the statement, the drones were launched on the Russian coast of the Sea of Azov and then flew to western Ukraine on various routes. That is why there was an air raid alert in many Ukrainian regions during the night. Initially, there was no information on damage caused by falling rocket parts. Near the city of Starokostyantyniv in the Khmelnytskyi region is an important base of the Ukrainian Air Force, which has already been attacked several times by Russia.

(with news agency material)

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-09-22

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