Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 583 | Russia-Ukraine war News
As the war enters its 583rd day, these are the main developments.
Here is the situation on Friday, September 29, 2023.
- Russia launched its largest air attack on Ukraine this month, targeting three regions – Mykolaiv and Odesa in the south and Kirovohrad in central Ukraine. The air force said its air defence systems shot down 34 of 44 Shahed drones. Damage on the ground was limited.
- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Ukrainian forces were “gradually gaining ground” in their counteroffensive against Russia. Speaking in Kyiv at a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Stoltenberg also said Russian troops were fighting for Moscow’s “imperial delusions”.
- Russia is set to increase defence spending by almost 70 percent to almost 10.8 trillion roubles ($111.15bn) in 2024, according to the finance ministry. Under the plan, defence spending will amount to about 6 percent of the gross domestic product.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin said elections conducted earlier this month in Russian-occupied parts of eastern Ukraine marked a step towards their full integration into Russia. Kyiv condemned the votes in the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia regions as illegal.
- The United Kingdom Ministry of Defence said Russia has lost about 90 fixed-wing aircraft in combat since it launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. It added that Russia was also using such aircraft far more intensively than during peacetime and that it was highly likely that was “eating into its airframes lifespans far more more quickly than planned”.
- The Ukrainian energy ministry said Russian shelling damaged a combined heat and power station in southern Ukraine overnight. The station was not in operation at the time of the attack, but a warehouse caught fire. The blaze was eventually put out.
- Ukrainian national broadcaster Suspilne reported that Ukrainian pilots were mastering how to fly F-16 fighter jets on combat missions with the help of VR simulators before they go overseas for further training.
Diplomacy and politics
- The European Union extended protection measures for Ukrainian refugees to March 2025. Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska, whose country holds the organisation’s rotating presidency, said there were more than four million Ukrainians currently in the EU, and they would be supported for “as long as it takes”. The measure gives Ukrainians in the EU access to the job market, medical care and education.
- Swedish prosecutors have called for a prison sentence of up to five years for Sergei Skvortsov, a Russian-Swedish citizen accused of passing Western technology to Russia’s military. Skvortsov was arrested in a dawn raid on his home in November 2022. The court will announce the verdict in his trial on October 26.
- Putin met Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, according to state TV presenter Pavel Zarubin. The meeting took place three days after Kadyrov published a video of his teenage son beating up a Ukrainian prisoner accused of burning the Quran and amid speculation about Kadyrov’s health.
- Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said his country would not help Russia evade sanctions. The Central Asian country shares a long border with Russia and is home to a large ethnic Russian minority. Tokayev was speaking after talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin.
- French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu discussed the possibility of joint weapons production during talks with Zelenskyy in Kyiv. Lecornu and Zelenskyy also discussed bolstering Ukraine’s air defences ahead of winter, amid concern Russia will again target energy infrastructure during the coldest months of the year.
- United Kingdom Defence Secretary Grant Shapps was also in Kyiv discussing how to bolster Ukraine’s air defences with Zelenskyy. Shapps also met Ukrainian Defence Minister Rustem Umerov and was briefed on the situation at the front. “Focus on air defence, artillery, anti-drone systems. Winter is coming, but we are ready. Stronger together,” Umerov wrote on X.