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Ukraine: New attack on Crimea, Poland stops supplying arms, Zelenskyy meets Biden

FILE - emergency services personnel work to extinguish a fire following a Russian attack in Lviv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023.
FILE - emergency services personnel work to extinguish a fire following a Russian attack in Lviv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023. Copyright AP/Ukrainian Emergency Service via AP
Copyright AP/Ukrainian Emergency Service via AP
By Euronews with AFP
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All the latest developments from the war in Ukraine.

Ukraine hits Crimea air base

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The Ukrainian army claimed on Thursday to have struck a Russian military airfield near the Crimean town of Saky, in yet another attack by Kyiv on this Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Moscow and used as a base for its invasion of Ukraine.

"Ukrainian defence forces carried out a combined strike against a military airfield of the occupiers near the town of Saky" on Wednesday night, the army's communications centre said on Telegram, without giving further details.

A source in the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) said it was a joint operation by the SBU and naval forces using drones and Ukrainian-made Neptune cruise missiles.

The strike comes just a day after Crimea's Russian-installed authorities announced that they had foiled Ukrainian missile and drone strikes targeting Sevastopol and the area around its major port, a crucial facility for the Russian navy.

According to Sevastopol governor Mikhail Razvojaev, Ukrainian forces had targeted the city with missiles and two neighbouring towns, Kacha and Verkhnessadovoye, with drones.

On September 13, a strike damaged two ships and injured 24 people at a shipyard in Sevastopol. In August, a particularly massive attack involving 42 drones targeted the peninsula, following a commando operation by Ukrainian forces.

The Ukrainian army has also repeatedly targeted Russian ships sailing in the Black Sea or docked in Crimea and in Russian ports along the coast.

Tough times loom for Ukraine, cautions Kyiv

Ukrainian officials have warned the country faces "difficult months ahead". 

“Difficult months await us: Russia will continue to attack Ukrainian energy and essential installations,” said the deputy head of the presidential administration Oleksiy Kuleba on Telegram. 

With winter coming, Ukrainian authorities fear Moscow will relaunch its campaign of strikes aimed at plunging the civilian population into the cold and dark, as it did last winter. 

Russian missiles rain down on Ukrainian cities

Several cities and towns in Ukraine were hit by Russian rockets overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, killing two in Kherson and injuring others in Kyiv. 

Residential areas in the southern city of Kherson were reportedly bombed, with two men aged 29 and 41 killed in a strike on an apartment building. Four others were hospitalised, including one in a serious condition. 

Seven people in the capital Kyiv were injured by falling debris from downed Russian missiles, including a 9-year-old girl, according to Mayor Vitali Klitschko.

Several people were also injured in the town of Cherkasy, after a hotel was hit in a Russian attack. 

The eastern city of Kharkiv, near the Russian border, was also bombed, along with the northwestern Lviv region. 

Though Moscow denies attacking Ukrainian civilians, experts told Euronews in June there was a deliberate strategy behind its bombing campaign. 

Poland to stop supplying weapons to Ukraine

Warsaw announced Wednesday evening it would no longer send arms to Kyiv, amid a growing rift between the two countries over grain. 

“We are no longer transferring any weapons to Ukraine,” said Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on television. 

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"We are mainly focusing on modernising and rapidly arming the Polish army, so that it becomes one of the most powerful land armies in Europe," he said. 

Morawiecki specified that a military hub in Rzeszow, through which Western equipment destined for Ukraine passes, was still operating normally.

The PM did not detail when Poland, one of the largest arms suppliers to Ukraine, would cut off supplies or if the move was linked to their spat about grain. 

With elections looming at home, Warsaw has imposed a ban on Ukrainian grain to protect its own farmers, who have complained they cannot compete with its cheaper imports. 

Speaking at the UN on Tuesday,  Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a barbed comment about Poland's move, saying "certain countries" were "feigning solidarity" with Kyiv "by indirectly supporting Russia".

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This, in turn, drew a sharp response from the Polish Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs who said it was "false" and “unjustified considering Poland has supported Ukraine since the first days of the war”.

Zelenskyy in Washington to ensure continued US support

Aware that some in the US are becoming weary of providing support, Ukraine's number one will visit the White House on Thursday.

Zelenskyy is likely to want five things from Washington, his richest and most powerful ally, as his country's counteroffensive continues.

Read more below. 

Zelenskyy rails against 'criminal' Russia at UN

Ukraine's leader challenged Russia during an exceptional session of the UN Security Council on Wednesday, denouncing Moscow's "aggression". 

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He also lamented at how Russia was "blocking" the UN body with its veto power. 

“Most countries in the world recognise the truth about this war,” said Zelenskyy, facing Russia's UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia.

“This is a criminal and unjustified aggression by Russia against our nation, which aims to seize the territory and resources of Ukraine,” he said, dressed in his usual khaki green fatigues.

He urged the UN to rescind Russia's veto power at the Security Council, which it enjoys as one of the five permanent members, along with China, France, the UK and US. 

“The right of veto in the hands of the aggressor blocks the UN,” he said, claiming it “impossible to stop" the war because of Russia's veto and its support from other countries in the UN. 

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Differing attitudes towards the Ukraine war prevail in the Global South, with many states abstaining from UN resolutions condemning Moscow and instead calling for peace talks. 

Wednesday's address was the first time since Russia launched its invasion in February 2022 that Zelenskyy spoke in person at the UN Security Council.

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