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Ukraine live briefing: Kyiv again targets Crimea in missile strike, pro-Moscow official claims


A satellite image shows smoke billowing from the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, Crimea, on Friday. (Planet Labs PBC/AP)

Ukraine waged another attack on Sevastopol, on the occupied Crimean Peninsula, according to a Kremlin-installed official, one day after a Ukrainian strike on the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. Russian air defenses intercepted missiles headed toward the city, the largest on the peninsula, governor Mikhail Razvozhayev wrote on Telegram Saturday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov suggested during a news conference at the United Nations that the resumption of a grain export deal designed to help avert a global food crisis was unlikely.

Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.

Lavrov indicated there was little hope of resuming a Black Sea grain deal brokered by Turkey and the United Nations to export grain by sea from Ukraine. Following a speech at the United Nations, he described proposals to revive the deal as “not realistic.”

Lavrov also said he will visit Pyongyang in October. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a rare summit this month in Russia’s Far East, signaling that they will support each other in the face of broad condemnation from the West over their military and nuclear activities. In his speech Saturday, Lavrov sharply criticized the United States and the West, accusing Washington of “whipping up hysteria on the Korean Peninsula.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with top U.S. business executives to discuss private-sector investment in Ukraine, he said Sunday. While on his trip to the United States, Zelensky said, he met with Mike Bloomberg, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and BlackRock CEO Larry Fink. According to Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Zelensky discussed how the largest American businesses could contribute to Ukraine’s reconstruction after the war.

A Ukrainian drone struck an administrative building in Russia’s Kursk region, Regional Governor Roman Starovoit said on Telegram Sunday, adding that the building’s roof was “slightly damaged.”

Russian airstrikes killed at least one person in the city of Berislav, in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region, the governor said on Telegram Sunday. The hit comes amid an intensification of airstrikes by Russian forces in the area, Nataliya Gumenyuk, founder of the Public Interest Journalism Lab, said. “The enemy is attacking significantly by air,” she said.

Ukrainian forces and their armored vehicles have pushed through Russia’s main defensive line on the war’s southern front, known as the “Surovikin line,” a local commander told The Washington Post. The line, named for the former head of Russia’s forces in Ukraine, comprises several defensive belts — and Russia has more significant defenses behind it — highlighting the slow advancement of Ukraine’s months-long counteroffensive.

Ukraine reportedly launched back-to-back strikes in Crimea over the weekend. Ukraine’s special forces said on Telegram that it had targeted a meeting of Black Sea Fleet leaders in a strike Friday that it said killed and wounded dozens, including top officials. Russian media reported that six people were injured. The Post was unable to verify either side’s claims. Early Saturday, air raid sirens sounded again, with missile debris hitting a park and falling into the sea, according to occupying officials.

Russian consumers are probably experiencing localized diesel and gas shortages, Britain’s Defense Ministry said Sunday, noting how Moscow had suspended almost all fuel exports last week. “The shortages are unlikely to be a direct result of the war,” officials said, suggesting that there were probably multiple causes, including seasonal maintenance of refineries and an increase in demand from the agriculture sector.

Zelensky held a meeting with Sudanese Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in Ireland on the way back from his trip to Canada and the United States. They talked about common security challenges, including the activities of armed groups financed by Russia, according to a readout from the Ukrainian president’s office. Zelensky urged him to support Ukraine’s efforts to get grain to countries in need.

Australia is calling for changes to the U.N. Security Council to make it more representative, as well as constraints on the use of veto powers. Russia, as one of five permanent members with veto power, “mocks the United Nations every day it continues its illegal and immoral invasion of Ukraine,” Foreign Minister Penny Wong said. Canberra wants more representation for Africa, Latin America and Asia and permanent seats for India and Japan.

Western officials press Ukraine to hold elections despite war: Some officials in the West are pushing for Kyiv to hold general and presidential elections, even as it remains in the grip of war, an idea that is perplexing Ukrainian officials.

The proposal was initially raised in Europe but now has been taken up by some U.S. Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) during a visit to Kyiv last month, write The Post’s David L. Stern, Catherine Belton and John Hudson.

“The Russians are pushing for this through their secret channels,” said a Ukrainian official in the security apparatus, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. “There is no situation in which it is possible to have a democratic election during the war.”





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