The missile strike that hit a Russian navy headquarters was a “blow to the dictatorship of Putin”, the Ukrainian air force spokesman has said.
Yuriy Ignat confirmed the attack that punched a huge hole in the Black Sea Fleet building in downtown Sevastopol on the occupied Crimean peninsula.
“This is not only a blow to the heart of the naval forces of the Black Sea Fleet, this is a blow to the dictatorship of Putin,” he said. “Everyone will see it. This cannot be hidden.”
Almost eight hours after the strike, Russian authorities were still struggling to put out the fire at the headquarters according to the Moscow-installed governor in Sevastopol. Gas and electricity have been cut and residents have been asked to reduce water consumption until the fire is put out.
“I had wanted a bigger hole [in the building] to be honest,” Ignat added. Russian residents of Crimea had provided Kyiv with information for the strike, he said.
A Ukrainian source told the Telegraph that British designed Storm Shadows, also known as Scalps, were used.
03:03 PM BST
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Thanks for following along. We will be back tomorrow with all of the latest updates from the conflict.
02:48 PM BST
Ukrainian Armed Forces confirm 'successful' strike on Russian naval HQ
“On the 22nd of September at about 12 noon (9am GMT), the Defense Forces of Ukraine have inflicted a successful hit on the Headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet Command in the temporarily occupied Sevastopol,” the Strategic Communications Department of the Armed Forces of Ukraine posted on Telegram.
The strike came just two days after a missile strike on Russia’s backup Black Sea Fleet command post.
02:15 PM BST
'All missiles shot down'
Ukrainian Air Force Commander Oleshchuk has posted on Telegram to thank Ukrainian pilots in the aftermath of the Sevastopol strike.
“We promised that ‘there will be more...’ So, while the occupiers are recovering in Melitopol, and air alarms are still sounding in Sevastopol, I thank the pilots of the Air Force once again!”
“‘All missiles shot down!’,” his post continued. “Sevastopol is the city of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine!”
01:58 PM BST
Ukrainian troops talk to Reuters about the Bakhmut counter-offensive
Viktor, a 23-year-old machine gunner and sharpshooter in the Third Separate Assault Brigade that has led the Ukrainian counter-offensive on Bakhmut’s southern outskirts, had no doubt that the ruined city would be recaptured.
“As for Bakhmut: we will take it,” he told the news agency. “It will be difficult. One shouldn’t think that the counter-offensive and taking Bakhmut is easy: (that) we just flank them, close reinforcements routes and it is done. No, it is very difficult work. And it won’t happen in a day or two or in a week.”
Ukrainian soldiers who spoke to Reuters at a location about 20 km (12 miles) from Andriivka described a bloody slog, costing lives for every metre, before they ultimately vanquished the village’s Russian defenders.
“There was a line of woods we had attacked twice before,” said Viktor, who gave no surname. “When we actually entered it, we had to go a further three kilometres with the enemy constantly shooting. There were drones and explosions causing a lot of damage to our ‘brothers’.”
“People should understand that along every metre in that line of woods, boys are dying, many are injured,” he said.
01:56 PM BST
Russia spikes defence spending for next year
Russia is planning a huge hike in defence spending next year, swelling to 6% of GDP, up from 3.9% in 2023 and 2.7% in 2021, Bloomberg News reported today.
The government was due to discuss draft budget proposals today but no announcements have been officially made.
01:38 PM BST
Crimea faces 'unprecedented cyber attack', local governor says
Russian-annexed Crimea has been hit by an attack targeting its internet providers, an official from Crimea’s Russian-backed administration said.
“Unprecedented cyberattack on Crimean internet providers. We are fixing internet outages on the peninsula. All services are working to eliminate the threat,” said Oleg Kryuchkov, an adviser to the Moscow-installed Crimea governor Sergei Aksyonov.
01:37 PM BST
Pictured: Pope Francis meets Ukraine's ambassador to the Vatican
01:23 PM BST
Russian servicemember MIA, not killed
The Russian defence ministry has now edited its earlier statement to say that one servicemember is missing in action, not killed as it earlier said, as a result of the strike on Sevastopol.
01:05 PM BST
One soldier killed in Sevastopol strike, Russia says
One soldier was killed in the missile attack on the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea navy fleet in occupied Crimea, Russia’s defence ministry said.
“While repelling a missile attack, five missiles were shot down by air defence systems. As a result of the attack, the historical headquarters building of the Black Sea Fleet was damaged. According to available information, one soldier was killed,” the statement released on Telegram said.
01:02 PM BST
Another view of the strike in Sevastopol
12:46 PM BST
Russia claims to have downed missile in Crimea
Russian air defences downed a missile on Friday near the town of Bakhchysarai in Crimea, an aide to the Russian-installed Crimean governor told Reuters.
The news came shortly after a Ukrainian missile hit the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea navy fleet in broad daylight on the occupied peninsula.
12:37 PM BST
No more missile danger in Sevastopol, governor says
Russian-appointed governor Mikhail Razvozhayev has said that there is no more missile or aviation danger in Sevastopol after a Ukrainian missile hit the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea navy fleet.
“We still ask you not to go to the centre. Roads are closed,” he posted on Telegram.
In a separate post he said that the situation is under control and firefighters are still working to extinguish the blaze.
“According to preliminary information, the civilian infrastructure around the fleet headquarters was not damaged. The people who were on the street at the time of the impact were also not injured,” he said.
12:21 PM BST
Black Sea navy headquarters hit by Ukrainian missile
A Ukrainian missile struck the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea navy fleet in the occupied Crimean port of Sevastopol, the latest in a wave of brazen attacks on the peninsula.
“The headquarters of the fleet have been hit in an enemy missile attack,” Russian-appointed governor Mikhail Razvozhayev said.
Videos online showed plumes of smoke rising above the headquarters in the key naval port city.
Razvozhayev warned people not to travel to the city centre or to leave buildings. “Attention everyone! Another attack is possible,” he wrote on Telegram.
“Firefighters are taking all measures to put out the fire as quickly as possible. The build-up of forces and resources continues,” it continued.
Russian positions in Crimea, seized and annexed from Ukraine in 2014, have been recently targeted with long-range British storm shadow missiles.
The Telegraph cannot immediately verify the images.
12:11 PM BST
Zelensky in secret plans to liberate cities
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed to liberate the eastern city of Bakhmut as well as announcing a secret plan to retake two other cities, he said in conversation with reporters in Washington.
“We will de-occupy Bakhmut,” Zelensky is reported to have said. “I think that we will de-occupy two more cities,” he added. “I will not tell you what cities, sorry. And so we have the plan. Very, very comprehensive plan.”
Over the past week Kyiv has announced the liberation of two settlements, Klishchiivka and Andriivka, en route to the embattled city of Bakhmut which has seen some of the most fierce fighting of the war.
In Zelensky’s second wartime visit to Washington, he also announced Ukraine would start manufacturing weapons together with the US. “Ukraine will be able to produce, in particular, anti-aircraft defence. We are preparing to create a new defence ecosystem together with the United States to produce weapons to further strengthen freedom and protection of life together,” Zelensky said.
11:27 AM BST
Watch: Frontline fighting near Bakhmut
11:07 AM BST
Kremlin says 'friction' between Ukraine and Europe 'inevitable'
The Kremlin has said it expects escalating disputes between Ukraine and Europe over time, its spokesperson told reporters on the daily press call.
“There are certain frictions between Warsaw and Kyiv. We predict that these frictions between Warsaw and Kiev will increase. Friction between Kyiv and other European capitals will also grow over time. This is inevitable,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
He also said that Russia is alert to any threats from Poland, describing it as an “aggressive” country and a problem for Moscow’s ally Belarus.
10:53 AM BST
Russian attacks in Donetsk injure 22
An overnight Russian missile attack on the city of Kurakhove in the Donetsk region hit a two-storey residential building and injured 16 people, the regional prosecutor’s office said.
Two missiles struck, with one hitting the building, they said.
Their preliminary information indicates that Russian Iskander missiles were used.
The Donetsk regional military administration also reported other overnight attacks that caused injuries: two people in Petropavlivka, two people in Molodetske, one person in Toretsk, and one person in the village of Kostiantynivka.
10:50 AM BST
Grain row won't affect bilateral relations, Polish president says
“I have no doubt that the dispute over the supply of grain from Ukraine to the Polish market is an absolute fragment of the entire Polish-Ukrainian relations,” Andrzej Duda told a business conference today.
“I don’t believe that it can have a significant impact on them, so we need to solve this matter between us,” he added.
Yesterday Mr Duda said he is willing to talk to Zelensky as “friends” to resolve “difficult situations” between their countries after Warsaw signalled that it would stop sending arms to Kyiv amid a dispute over grain imports.
10:43 AM BST
Russia claims to have foiled attack on occupied Crimea
Moscow’s defence ministry has issued a statement on Telegram claiming to have foiled an attack on the occupied Crimea peninsula.
“At about 10.30am Moscow time [8.30am BST], an attempt by the Kyiv regime to carry out a terrorist attack with aircraft guided missiles and UAVs on objects on the territory of the Russian Federation was stopped,” the statement read.
“Duty air defence systems off the western coast of the Crimean peninsula discovered and destroyed one Ukrainian guided missile and two aircraft-type UAVs,” it added.
10:31 AM BST
Pictured: Ukraine's air campaign on Donetsk
10:17 AM BST
The stage of energy terrorism has begun, Kyiv PM says
Russia has restarted a systemic campaign of aerial attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure, Kyiv’s Prime Minister Denys Shmygal is reported to have said.
“We understand that the stage of energy terror in this heating season has already begun,” Shmygal said, in comments carried by the news agency Interfax-Ukraine.
He added: “We are much better prepared and stronger than we were last year.”
10:13 AM BST
Belarus begins military drills with Russia
Russia and Belarus have started five-day joint military drills on Minsk’s territory today, Belarus’ defence ministry said.
More details to follow.
10:11 AM BST
Kyiv carries out coordinated assaults in eastern Donetsk
Ukrainian forces have mounted coordinated assaults on several villages in the eastern Donetsk region and are heavily shelling the city of Bakhmut, a Russian-installed official has said.
“Over the past 24 hours in the Krasnolimansk direction, the enemy took a number of actions and conducted combat reconnaissance in several directions at once,” Denis Pushilin said on social media.
He listed several villages in the north of Donetsk near the city of Lyman, which is under Ukrainian control. The assaults, he claimed, were suppressed by Russian forces.
“The situation in (Bakhmut) remains hot, (the city) itself is under chaotic shelling,” Pushilin said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told reporters in Washington overnight that Kyiv has a “comprehensive plan” to retake Bakhmut as well as two other cities that he refused to name.
09:36 AM BST
Russian 'energy terror' has begun ahead of winter, says Ukraine
Russia has restarted a systemic campaign of aerial attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure but its air defence systems are better prepared for the onslaught than last year, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmygal has said.
“We understand that the stage of energy terror in this heating season has already begun,” Mr Shmygal said.
“We are much better prepared and stronger than we were last year.”
09:16 AM BST
Ukraine grain exports fall after Russian river port attacks
Ukrainian grain exports fell sharply to 1.45 million metric tons in the first three weeks of September, from around 2.94 million tons in the corresponding period in 2022, according to data from the agriculture ministry.
Traders and agricultural unions have said that Ukrainian Black Sea ports being blocked and recent Russian attacks on Ukrainian ports on the Danube River are the main reasons for the reduced exports.
The ministry data showed that Ukraine exported a total of 6 million tons of grain so far in the 2023/24 July-June season versus 7.2 million in the same period in 2022/23.
The volume included 2.9 million tons of wheat, 2.5 million tons of corn and 596,000 tons of barley.
08:32 AM BST
North Korea's powerful politburo discusses follow-up steps to Kim's Russia visit
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un discussed follow-up measures to his recent visit to Russia during the first formal meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party’s powerful politburo since his return, state media KCNA has reported.
Kim returned home from a weeklong trip to Russia last week in which he and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to boost military and economic cooperation.
On Wednesday, Kim briefed the party central committee’s powerful politburo on his visit, and participants explored ways to “practically and comprehensively” implement its results and “constructive,” long-term measures for developing relations with Russia, KCNA said. “He stressed the need to strengthen close contacts and cooperation among relevant fields of the two countries to expand and develop cooperation in every field in an all-round way.”
KCNA also said Kim’s trip placed the bilateral ties “on a new strategic level in response to the demand of the new era and brought a radical change in the world geo-political situation”.
Seoul and Washington have expressed concern that Russia could be trying to acquire ammunition from North Korea to supplement its thinning stockpiles amid its war in Ukraine, while Pyongyang seeks technological help for its nuclear and missile programs.
08:13 AM BST
Zelensky tells US he will ‘lose the war’ without their support
Volodymyr Zelensky pleaded with US lawmakers to maintain military support for Ukraine on Thursday, as Republicans signalled that they would try to block a new funding package put forward by Joe Biden.
Catch up on the Ukrainian president’s visit to Washington here.
08:00 AM BST
One dead in Russian shelling of Kherson
At least one person was killed in Russian shelling of the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson on Friday, the regional governor said.
The governor, Oleksandr Prokudin, said on the Telegram messaging app that a 25-year-old man had been killed and another person wounded when residential districts came under fire in the city, which is close to the front line.
The shelling caused fires in a house and a garage, he said.
Kyiv drove Russian forces out of part of the Kherson region last November after several months of occupation, but Russian troops have continued shelling the regional capital and areas around it from across the Dnipro River.
07:45 AM BST
Second cargo vessel carrying vital grain supplies leaves Ukrainian port
Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister on Friday confirmed the departure of the second cargo vessel with grain from Ukraine’s Chornomorsk sea port.
The vessel Aroyat “left the port Chornomorsk after loading 17,600 (tons of) Ukrainian wheat for Egypt,” Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Twitter.
This is the second bulk carrier that has entered the port of Chornomorsk “using the temporary corridor for civil shipping”, he said, adding that the first was Resilient Africa, laden with 3,000 tons of wheat for Asia.
07:35 AM BST
Pictured: Damage in Ukrainian cities after wave of Russian strikes
07:23 AM BST
What could Canada's military aid package contain?
Canada does not have the deep pockets or military reserves of the United States, Germany and Ukraine’s other major backers.
Since the beginning of 2022, Canada has committed over C$8 billion (£4.8 billion) in aid to Ukraine, including over C$1.8 billion in military assistance.
A Canadian government official said the arms deal Justin Trudeau was likely to announce on Friday would be bigger than the C$33 million Ottawa unveiled on Sunday to help Kyiv buy missile defenses.
David Perry, a security analyst at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, said he expected Ottawa to offer more combat support vehicles as well as training for Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets as part of the arms deal.
07:20 AM BST
Zelensky arrives in Canada on surprise visit
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has made his first wartime visit to close ally Canada, where he is guaranteed a warm welcome.
Canada is one of Kyiv’s staunchest supporters in the war against Russia and is set to announce during the visit that it is sending more weapons to Ukraine, according to a government official.
“Canada will continue to support Ukraine as long as it takes and we will always stand firm to defend the rule of law and the international rules based order,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in New York on Thursday.
Mr Zelensky is due to address parliament in Ottawa and then hold a news conference with Mr Trudeau.
07:18 AM BST
Welcome to today’s Ukraine war live blog.
We’ll be bringing you all the latest updates from the conflict. First up this morning:
Zelensky meets Trudeau on surprise Canada visit
Volodymyr Zelensky has arrived in Canada on an unannounced visit to rally support for his country.
Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, welcomed Mr Zelensky as he stepped off his plane in Ottawa, where he is guaranteed a warmer welcome than he received from some US politicians skeptical about providing more military aid.
It is the Ukrainian president’s first trip to Canada since the war began. On Friday, Mr Zelensky will hold formal talks with Mr Trudeau and give a speech to the Canadian parliament.
The surprise visit came after Joe Biden, the US President, warned Republicans in Congress that there is “no alternative” to funding fresh military support for Ukraine as Right-wing lawmakers threatened to block a new arms package.