NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has warned that there will not be a swift end to the war in Ukraine, in an interview published Sunday, as Kyiv pushes on with its counteroffensive against Russia. Follow our live blog for all the latest developments on the war in Ukraine. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).
6:08am: Ukraine drone damages oil depot in southwestern Russia, governor says
A Ukrainian drone damaged an oil depot in southwestern Russia early on Sunday, sparking a fire at a fuel tank that was later extinguished, the regional governor said.
“There are no casualties, all emergency services are working on the territory of the facility,” the governor of the Oryol region, Andrei Klychkov, said on the Telegram messaging app.
FRANCE 24 could not independently verify the report, which did not specify whether the depot was hit by debris or targeted by the drone.
3:26am: Five killed, one wounded in Donetsk, Russian-installed official says
Five civilians were killed and one wounded as a result of intense Ukrainian shelling of the Donetsk region on Saturday, said a Russian-installed official in the eastern region of Ukraine.
The five were killed in the Kirov and Kuibyshevskyi districts and a woman was injured in Svetlodarsk, Denis Pushilin, the Russian-appointed head of the region, wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
FRANCE 24 could not independently verify the information out of Donetsk, which with some other parts of eastern Ukraine has been partly controlled by pro-Russian separatists since 2014.
There was no immediate comment from Kyiv.
2:55am: Russia says seven Ukrainian drones were destroyed over Moscow, Crimea
Russia shot down one Ukrainian drone over the outskirts of Moscow and six others over the annexed Crimean peninsula on Sunday, according to the Ministry of Defence.
At around 1:45 am (2245 GMT on Saturday) one drone was intercepted over Moscow’s Istrinsky district, the defence ministry said in a Telegram post.
“According to preliminary data, there was no damage or casualties at the site where the debris fell,” Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin wrote in a separate Telegram post. “Emergency services specialists are working at the scene.”
Two Ukrainian drones were also destroyed at 1:15 am over the west coast of Crimea, with another four drones detected and destroyed over the peninsula between 1:45 to 2:20 am, according to the ministry.
Since Ukraine launched its counteroffensive in early June, Russia has weathered waves of drone attacks that have sporadically damaged buildings, including in the capital.
Russian officials have downplayed the significance of the attacks.
1:01am: “We must prepare ourselves for a long war in Ukraine,” says NATO chief Stoltenberg
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has warned that there will not be a swift end to the war in Ukraine, in an interview published Sunday, as Kyiv pushes on with its counteroffensive against Russia.
“Most wars last longer than expected when they first begin,” Stoltenberg said in an interview with Germany’s Funke media group. “Therefore we must prepare ourselves for a long war in Ukraine.”
“We are all wishing for a quick peace,” said Stoltenberg.
“But at the same time we must recognise: if President (Volodymyr) Zelensky and the Ukrainians stop fighting, their country will no longer exist. If President (Vladimir) Putin and Russia lay down their weapons, we will have peace.”
Key developments from Saturday, September 16:
The first cargo ships sailed to Ukraine to load grain following the collapse of a deal with Russia, a Kyiv official said on Saturday. In August, Ukraine announced the establishment of a “humanitarian corridor” in the Black Sea to circumvent Russia’s blockade. Since then, five vessels have used the corridor to exit Ukraine’s ports.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspected Russian nuclear-capable bombers and other warplanes in Russia’s Far East on Saturday as he continued a trip that has sparked Western concerns about an arms alliance that could fuel Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.
Read yesterday’s blog to see how the day’s events unfolded.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP & Reuters)