Ukraine launches an attack on Russia’s Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol. Media draw conclusions on Zelenskyi’s visit to the U.S. The European Commission is preparing to recommend starting membership talks with Ukraine, Bloomberg reports.
Ukraine launches attack on Russia’s Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol, Russia confirms the strike
On Friday, September 22, Ukraine launched a missile attack on the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol. In recent weeks, Ukraine has increased the pace of strikes on Russia’s Black Sea fleet and military installations in occupied Crimea.
“The enemy launched a missile attack on the headquarters of the fleet,” Sevastopol’s Russian-appointed governor Mikhail Razvozhayev said on Telegram. The debris fell across the city, he also said.
An air raid alert was declared in anticipation of a second missile strike, the Russian-installed officials said. Photos and videos posted to social media by locals showed a black plume of smoke rising from the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea fleet. The building appears to be heavily damaged. Russian media said six people were injured and a lot of debris fell across the city.
Local residents said they also heard explosions near Bakhchisaray, Pervomayske, and Krasnogvardiyske.
Media draw conclusions on Zelenskyi’s visit to U.S.
During his second visit to Washington since Russia invaded Ukraine, the Ukrainian President faced difficult conversations with members of Congress. Yet Republicans skeptical of supporting Ukraine remain a “loud minority group”. U.S. President Joe Biden demonstrated unwavering support to Ukraine. He said the U.S. will send a limited number of ATACMS missiles to Ukraine, dropping months of reluctance.
U.S. media draw conclusions on Zelenskyi’s meetings with President Biden and members of Congress on Thursday.
During a meeting at the Capitol with dozens of senators, Zelenskyi carried a “grim warning”. “If we don’t get the aid, we will lose the war,” he told members of the Senate in a closed-door meeting, according to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer.
There’s a stark contrast between his last visits to the U.S. In December 2022, President Zelenskyi appealed to the Congress and received standing ovation. During his recent visit, House Speaker Kevin McCarty denied Zelenskyi’s request to address a joint meeting of Congress. He also declined to join House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries outside the Capitol to greet Zelenskyi upon his arrival.
Zelenskyi met with U.S. lawmakers from both parties, President Biden, and visited the Pentagon. The U.S. announced a USD 325 million worth of additional security assistance package. The capabilities in the package include additional ammunition for HIMARS, missiles for air defense and other equipment.
European Commission to recommend starting membership talks with Ukraine, Bloomberg reports
The European Union’s executive arm is preparing to recommend starting membership talks with Ukraine in earnest, Bloomberg said, quoting people familiar with the matter.
The European Commission is expected to recommend launching a years-long accession process next month. But it may insist on progress in some priority areas including corruption as interim steps, added the people who asked not to be named on private talks.
Once the commission makes its recommendation, EU leaders would have to sign off on it, most likely at their summit meeting in December. After that, Ukraine would embark on the lengthy procedure to complete reforms and align itself with EU legislation in more than 30 areas, including the rule of law and the economy.
Failure to recommend opening accession talks would be politically untenable for the commission, the people added, because of the difficulties Ukraine is laboring under.