Day 560: Russian missile strike on Kostyantynivka kills 17, injures 32 others

A Russian missile strike on Kostyantynivka kills 17 and injures 32 others. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Kyiv. Parliament approves Umerov as the new defense minister.

Russian missile strike on Kostyantynivka kills 17, injures 32 others

At least 17 people were killed and 32 others injured in a Russian missile strike on Kostyantynivka, in Donetsk region. 

The strike hit an outdoor market in the city. President Zelenskyi posted a surveillance video to his social media, confirming the casualty toll.

Firefighters extinguished a fire that had affected 300 square meters and destroyed around 30 stalls at the market.


U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Kyiv

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unannounced trip to Ukraine. He arrived in Kyiv Wednesday for meetings with key Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelenskyi and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. His trip comes as Ukraine’s counteroffensive has been going slower than hoped, CNN said. Later that day, Blinken announced more than USD one billion in new U.S. support for Ukraine.

Blinken’s visit came as a gesture of support, Bloomberg said. He is to speak with Ukrainian leadership about Ukraine’s counteroffensive.

The visit by the U.S.’s top diplomat is an opportunity for the United States and Ukraine to align ahead of the United Nations General Assembly later this month, a senior state department official told reporters traveling with Blinken.

A senior State Department official said Washington wanted to discuss how the counteroffensive was going and assess battlefield needs as well as any steps that might be required to shore up Ukraine’s energy security before winter.

Blinken also met Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. “We’ve seen good progress in the counteroffensive, which is very heartening. We want to make sure that Ukraine has what it needs not only to succeed in the counteroffensive, but it has what it needs for the long term, to make sure that it has a strong deterrent so that in the future, aggressions like this don’t happen again,” Blinken said.

That’s his third trip to Ukraine since the invasion.

Ukraine continues its counteroffensive 

Ukrainian troops conduct offensive actions to the south of Bakhmut, spokesperson for the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Pavlo Kovalchuk said. An offensive operation also continues in the Melitopol direction. Ukrainian troops have had success on the line Robotyne-Novoprokopivka, in Zaporizhzhia region, pushing toward Tokmak. They are reinforcing positions they have previously captured. 

Geolocated footage posted on September 5 shows that Ukrainian forces have advanced south of Robotyne and northwest of Verbove (about 10km east of Robotyne). The footage suggests that Ukrainian forces are advancing along the line of Russian fortifications, the Institute for the Study of War said in a report.

Parliament approves Umerov as new defense minister

The Ukrainian parliament has approved the appointment of Rustem Umerov as the new defense minister. He previously chaired the State Property Fund. 

The decision was passed by a vote of 338 to zero.