Ukraine Daily Summary - Tuesday, September 19

How Russia is committing ecocide in Ukraine -- Top UN court resumes hearings in Ukraine genocide case against Russia -- Ukrainian advances point to 'severe degradation' of Russian units -- The axis of outcasts -- and more

Tuesday, September 19

Lviv is set to host the 2023 IT Arena, Ukraine’s largest tech event, from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1.

Over 3,000 attendees and dozens of top-level speakers will gather for the 10th annual English-language event to cover everything from the latest tech developments and AI startups to new business opportunities and product insights.

The Kyiv Independent will cover the event as a media partner.

Russia’s war against Ukraine

A young woman poses in front of a sign near the front-line town of Orikhiv. In the town, which once had almost 14,000 inhabitants, just a few kilometers from the current front line, almost no one lives today; most of the houses are either completely destroyed or uninhabitable. (Photo by Oliver Weiken/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Zelensky arrives in US to attend UN meeting, meet Biden. President Volodymyr Zelensky and First Lady Olena Zelenska arrived in New York, as the president plans to address the U.N. General Assembly and meet his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden.

Media: Brazil’s President Lula to meet Zelensky in New York. Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will meet his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in New York on Sept. 20, the Guardian reported on Sept. 18, citing two sources in the Brazilian government.

Top UN court resumes hearings in Ukraine genocide case against Russia.

The United Nations’ International Court of Justice (ICJ) has resumed hearings on Ukraine’s lawsuit against Russia over false allegations of genocide that Moscow used to justify its full-scale invasion.

Commander: Ukrainian forces breach Russian defensive line near Bakhmut. Ukrainian troops have broken through one of the Russian defensive lines near Donetsk Oblast’s Bakhmut, Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces who heads the military operations in the east, reported on Sept. 18.

Top US general: Russia has ’well over 200,000’ troops in occupied Ukraine. Russia has well over 200,000 troops stationed in the occupied parts of Ukraine, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said in an interview with CNN on Sept. 18.

ISW: Ukrainian advances point to ‘severe degradation’ of Russian units. Recent Ukrainian advances in western Zaporizhzhia Oblast and south of Bakhmut correspond with evidence that Russian units in those areas have suffered heavy losses, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) wrote in its Sept. 18 report.

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General: Some bridges in south were not mined, most weren’t destroyed ahead of Russian invasion. The bridges connecting occupied Crimea in Kherson Oblast were mined but were not destroyed at the start of the full-scale invasion, and bridges over the Dnipro River in Kherson and Nova Kakhovka were not mined at all, General Andrii Sokolov said in an interview with Ukrainska Pravda on Sept. 18.

General: Ukraine had only 1,500 soldiers in south when Russia launched full-scale invasion. At the onset of the full-scale invasion, Ukraine had only around 1,500 soldiers defending the south against 20,000 invading Russian troops, General Andrii Sokolov, who led the southern defense in 2022, told Ukrainska Pravda on Sept. 18.

Mayor: Russia bombards Kharkiv. Russian forces have launched an attack against the northeastern city of Kharkiv, targeting its center, Mayor Ihor Terekhov reported late on Sept. 18.

Media: EU foreign ministers to meet in Kyiv in October. The next EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting will likely be held in Kyiv at the beginning of October, the Italian news agency ANSA reported on Sept. 18, citing three unnamed sources.

Reuters: EU risks depending on China for batteries after dropping Russian energy. By 2030, the European Union could become as dependent on lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells from China as it was on Russian energy supplies before the war against Ukraine, Reuters reported on Sept. 18, citing an obtained EU document.

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Ukraine ready to take neighbors to court as continued grain bans threaten exports

In defiance of the European Commission’s Sept. 15 decision to lift an embargo on the domestic sale of Ukrainian agricultural products in five countries, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia imposed their own restrictions on Ukrainian imports, despite Ukraine’s open trade agreement with the EU.

Photo: Roman Pilipey/AFP via Getty Images

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Ukraine war latest: Defense Ministry ‘reboot’ underway as government dismisses six deputy ministers

On Sept. 18, the government dismissed six deputy defense ministers and the state secretary for defense.

Among the dismissed deputy defense ministers are Hanna Maliar, Volodymyr Havrylov, Rostyslav Zamlynskyi, Denys Sharapov, Andrii Shevchenko, and Vitalii Deineha.

Photo: Andrii Nesterenko/AFP via Getty Images

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How Russia is committing ecocide in Ukraine

How Russia is committing ecocide in Ukraine

Human cost of war

Russian drone strike on Lviv injures 1. A Russian drone attack early on Sept. 19 caused a fire in Lviv that injured one person, Lviv Mayor Andrii Sadovyi reported on Telegram.

Authorities: Russian attacks in Kherson, Donetsk oblasts kill 1, injure 4. Russian attacks in Ukraine’s Kherson and Donetsk oblasts on Sept. 18 killed one civilian and injured four more, according to local authorities.

Opinions and insights

Carl Bildt: The axis of outcasts

“Russian President Vladimir Putin had obvious reasons for hosting North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un at Vostochny, Russia’s new spaceport in eastern Siberia. Owing to his illegal war of aggression in Ukraine, Putin is running low on both friends and ammunition,” writes Carl Bildt, Sweden’s former foreign minister.

Photo: AFP via Getty Images

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International response

Germany readies new aid package for Ukraine worth $430 million. Berlin is preparing an aid package worth 400 million euros ($430 million) for Ukraine, including munitions, armored vehicles, and clothes and generators for the upcoming winter, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius told Bild on Sept. 18.

Biden to suggest expansion of UN Security Council. U.S. President Joe Biden will “call for the UN Security Council to be expanded to counter Russia and China during the upcoming UN General Assembly,” the Telegraph reported on Sept. 17.

Romania may extend ban on Ukrainian grain imports by 30 days. Romania will extend the ban on Ukrainian grain imports by another 30 days if the import requests rise, French broadcaster RFI reported on Sept. 18, citing the country’s Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu.

Spain sees bans by EU countries on Ukrainian grain imports as illegal. Spain’s Agriculture Minister Luis Planas Puchades said on Sept. 18 that unilateral bans by EU countries on importing Ukrainian grain may be illegal, Reuters reported.

Dutch Defense Ministry employee arrested for exporting aircraft parts to Russia.

Two men in the Netherlands, one of whom works for the Dutch Defense Ministry, have been arrested on suspicion of evading sanctions against Russia, the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) announced on Sept. 15.

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