Ukraine War, Day 568: More Attacks on Russia’s Warships in Crimea

Fires burn in a Russian shipyard in occupied Crimea, Ukraine after a Ukrainian strike, September 13, 2023

EA on India’s WION News: Vlad Meets Kim

Wednesday’s Coverage: Missile Strike Damages Russian Shipyard in Sevastopol

Map: Institute for Study of War

The US has added more than 150 individuals, companies, and institutions to sanctions lists over support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Most of those sanctioned are Russian manufacturers, trading companies, and institutes supporting the production of arms and other supplies for Moscow’s armed forces. Owners of the firms are among the cited individuals.

Five Turkish companies are blacklisted over support of Russian military activities.

Three Turkish firms have been blacklisted for supplying Russian defense-related manufacturers, including drone producers, with parts and technology equipment.

Two Turkish companies and one of the owners, are cited for providing ship repair services to Russian vessels.

The International Criminal Court has opened a field office in Kyiv amid the investigation of Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine.

“Today marks a pivotal stride in our journey towards restoring justice,” Ukraine Prosecutor Gen Andriy Kostin wrote. “Now our cooperation will be even more effective and efficient.”

He noted that the field office is the largest ICC facility outside its headquarters in The Hague in the Netherlands.

Kostin explained, “Together with the entire civilized world, we are united by one goal – to ensure the aggressor is held accountable for all the crimes perpetrated.”

South Korea says it has long been aware that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is using weapons provided by North Korea.

An official from the Presidential office said, “We have long confirmed that kinds of weapons provided by North Korea were being used by Russia in the Ukraine battlefield.”

The official said that it is difficult to talk about the issue because it is an intelligence matter.

The South Korean Government is discussing individual and multilateral measures that it could take with major allies including the US and Japan.

A Ukrainian intelligence source says overnight drone attacks destroyed a Russian air defense system near the town of Yevpatoriya in occupied Crimea.

Ukrainian channels are sharing a clip of a large explosion in the area.

The source said drones blinded the Russian “Triumf” air defence system by attacking its radar and antenna. The navy then fired two Ukrainian-made Neptune cruise missiles at the system’s launch complexes.

The Russian Defense Ministry maintained earlier that its forces destroyed five naval drones and downed 11 UAVs, making no reference to any damage.

Russian shelling has killed a 6-year-old boy and injured four civilians in the village of Novodmytrivka in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.

The Ukraine Air Force says it downed 17 of 22 Iranian-made drones fired by Russia overnight.

The drones were fired in “several groups” from three directions.

Debris partially destroyed a house near Nikopol in the Dnipropetrovsk region in south-central Ukraine.

Assessing photos of Wednesday’s strikes on a Russian shipyard in occupied Crimea, the military monitor Oryx concludes that the landing ship Minsk was destroyed and cannot be repaired.

The site noted that everything above the ship’s deck was burned out during the blaze after the attack.

Defense Express, a Ukrainian group analyzing open-source intelligence, assesses that the submarine Rostov-on-Don is permanently disabled.

Citing Western and Ukrainian officials, the New York Times says Russia is bypassing sanctions to produce more missiles than it did before Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

US analysts said Russia’s production slowed just after the February 2022 invasion, but began to pick up from August. Critical components were routed through countries such as Armenia and Turkey.

Russia is estimated to increase production of munitions to 2 million per year, and 200 tanks compared to 100 before the invasion.

But the analysts noted that the Russian weapons are of much lower quality and reliability than Western counterparts. Moscow also faces shortages of rocket propellants and basic explosives, which are harder to smuggle than microchips and smaller components.

The effort is putting a further strain on Russia’s economy by through the increased cost of the components.

South Korea has expressed “deep concerns” over military cooperation between North Korea and Russia following Wednesday’s meeting of Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin.

South Korean Unification Minister Kim Yung-ho said there appeared to be “some kind of military deal”, with Kim Jong-un’s recent visits to North Korean munitions factories, the July trip by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu, and Wednesday’s meeting with Putin at the Vostochny cosmodrome in the Amur region in southeast Russia.

US officials have also warned that Russia is seeking North Korean artillery and munitions as it faces Ukraine’s counter-offensive.

South Korea’s Kim Yung-ho warned that North Korea will face a “stronger response” from Seoul, the US and Japan, “the more it clings to its nuclear development”.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa, who took office on Wednesday, warned that any North Korean deal with Russia “could lead to violations of related Security Council resolutions”.

Tokyo is “closely monitoring the situation with concern” and will will work closely with the international community, including the US and South Korea, in monitoring of developments.

A European Parliament resolution has labelled Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko “an accomplice” in Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine.

By enabling Russia’s unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine, the Lukashenko regime has become an accomplice in the crimes committed by Russia, which implies responsibility for the destruction and damage caused to Ukraine.

The special international tribunal on the crime of aggression perpetrated by Russia against Ukraine must have jurisdiction to investigate not only Putin and the Russian political and military leadership but also the Belarusian leadership.

The Parliament mandated European Union institutions and members “to enable the criminal prosecution of Belarusian officials who are complicit in the crime of aggression, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide committed against Ukraine”.

The legislators called for the establishment of an International Criminal Court country office in Ukraine, finding “legal pathways for seizing assets of the Belarusian leadership and related Belarusian entities involved in the Russian war effort”. Russia and Belarus should be put on “the EU’s high-risk third-country list with regard to combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism”.

Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed that five naval drones were destroyed when they advanced on a warship in the Black Sea, and that air defenses downed 11 drones over Crimea.

There were no immediate reports of damage.

Early Wednesday, Ukrainian strikes on a Russian shipyard in Sevastopol damaged a large Russian landing ship and a submarine. Ukraine’s miliitary intelligence said it is unlikely that either can be repaired and put back into service.

The loss of the landing ship would be especially serious for Russia as it tried to hold the Ukrianian counter-offensive in the south of the country. In early August, another of Russia’s landing ships, the Olenegorsky Gornyak, was heavily damaged by a strike on the Russian port of Novorossisyk.

Andriy Yusov, a senior intelligence official, said, “We do not comment on the means for the strike.”

However, another Ukrainian official and a “Western source” told the UK’s Sky News that British Storm Shadow cruise missiles were used.

The Storm Shadows, with a range of more than 150 miles, have been delivered to Ukraine since May.


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