September 21, 2023 - Russia-Ukraine news

By Tara Subramaniam, Sophie Tanno, Aditi Sangal, Elise Hammond, Maureen Chowdhury and Tori B. Powell, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, September 22, 2023
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4:06 a.m. ET, September 21, 2023

Ukraine shoots down 36 of 43 Russian missiles, army chief says

From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Manveena Suri

An explosion of a missile is seen in the sky over Kyiv on Thursday.
An explosion of a missile is seen in the sky over Kyiv on Thursday. Gleb Garanich/Reuters

Ukrainian air defenses shot down 36 of 43 missiles launched by Russia on Thursday in attacks across the country, Ukraine's army chief said.

Valerii Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, said in a Telegram post that cruise missiles launched from aircraft in southern Russia were “constantly changing course along the route.”

In an update Thursday, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said Russian forces launched "a massive missile attack" on civilian infrastructure in multiple regions.

Ukrainian officials said at least seven people were wounded in aerial assaults on Kyiv, while two people were injured in Kharkiv.

Meanwhile, Russian shelling killed at least two people in the southern city of Kherson.

2:47 a.m. ET, September 21, 2023

Missile threat remains as Russia launches attacks across Ukraine, officials say

From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Manveena Suri

A firefighter works at a site damaged by a Russian missile strike in Kyiv on Thursday.
A firefighter works at a site damaged by a Russian missile strike in Kyiv on Thursday. Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

Air raid alerts remain in place in parts of Ukraine on Thursday after Russian forces launched deadly strikes across the country, according to Ukrainian authorities.

Ukraine's air force said the missile threat is ongoing, while Internal Affairs Minister Ihor Klymenko urged Ukrainians “to follow the safety rules in the regions where the repeated alarm is announced” and to take shelter.

"It’s a restless morning," Klymenko said.

Here's where Russian attacks have been reported so far:

  • Kherson: At least two people were killed and five others were wounded in the southern city following Russian shelling overnight, Ukrainian officials said. In a Telegram post, Oleksandr Prokudin, head of the Kherson region military administration, said two men ages 29 and 41 died in a Russian strike on a dormitory.
  • Kyiv: A 9-year-old girl is among seven people who were injured after Russia launched an aerial attack on the capital, Mayor Vitalii Klitschko said. “Kyiv! A second strike is possible. Missile threat! Stay in the shelters!” the mayor later warned in a Telegram post. Air raid sirens have now sounded for more than 1,000 hours in Kyiv since Russia's full-scale invasion began in February last year, an official said.
  • Kharkiv: At least two people were injured after six Russian strikes on the northeastern city, a Ukrainian official said. The attacks were focused on the Slobidskyi district and damaged civilian infrastructure, he added.
  • Cherkasy: A Russian missile strike destroyed a hotel in the central city, resulting in a fire, officials said. Seven people were injured.
  • Lviv: Structural damage to an industrial area was reported after a fire broke out following Russian attacks, according to officials. No casualties were immediately reported.
2:17 a.m. ET, September 21, 2023

Russian shelling kills 2 in Kherson, Ukrainian officials say

From CNN's Olga Voitovych

At least two people were killed and five others were wounded in the southern city of Kherson following Russian shelling overnight, Ukrainian officials said Thursday.

In a Telegram post, Oleksandr Prokudin, head of the Kherson region military administration, said two men ages 29 and 41 died in a Russian strike on a dormitory.

"A terrible night for Kherson city," he said.

Among the injured are three women and two men, he added.

Roman Mrochko, head of the Kherson city military administration, said apartment buildings and cars were damaged after Russian forces shelled residential areas.

Reports of the shelling in Kherson Thursday comes after Ukrainian officials said Russian attacks had injured seven people in Kyiv and two others in the northeastern city of Kharkiv.

2:16 a.m. ET, September 21, 2023

Kyiv passes 1,000 hours of air raid sirens during Russian invasion

From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Manveena Suri

People take shelter in a metro station during an air raid alert in Kyiv on August 24.
People take shelter in a metro station during an air raid alert in Kyiv on August 24. Roman Pilipey/AFP/Getty Images

Air raid sirens in Kyiv have sounded for more than 1,000 hours since Russia's full-scale invasion began in February last year, a Ukrainian official said following Moscow's latest assault on the capital.

Seven people, including a 9-year-old girl, were injured in Russian aerial attacks Thursday, which caused damage and power outages in several districts, Ukrainian authorities said.

“The capital has already crossed the mark of 1,000 hours of air raid alarms since the beginning of the full-scale invasion!  said Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv city military administration, in a Telegram post Thursday. "Just imagine - a month and a half of continuous air raid alarms! We have survived it and we will overcome much more together!"
12:28 a.m. ET, September 21, 2023

Russian strikes injure 2 people in Kharkiv, official says

From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Mohammed Tawfeeq

Two people were injured after Russia struck the northeastern city of Kharkiv on Thursday, a Ukrainian official said.

In a Telegram post, Oleh Syniehubov, head of the Kharkiv regional military administration, said the wounded had been taken to hospital.

Syniehubov said earlier that the attacks were focused on the city's Slobidskyi district and had damaged civilian infrastructure.

The strikes came as officials in Kyiv said seven people were injured in Russian attacks early Thursday.

1:27 a.m. ET, September 21, 2023

7 people injured in Kyiv attack, mayor says

From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Mohammed Tawfeeq

Debris is seen in Kyiv's Darnytskyi district following Russian attacks on Thursday.
Debris is seen in Kyiv's Darnytskyi district following Russian attacks on Thursday. Kyiv City Military Administration

A 9-year-old girl is among seven people who were injured after Russia launched an aerial attack on Kyiv Thursday, the city's mayor said.

In a Telegram post, Mayor Vitalii Klitschko said the injuries were reported in the capital's Darnytskyi district.

The child and an 18-year-old woman were hospitalized after debris fell from an infrastructure facility onto a residential building, he said.

12:10 a.m. ET, September 21, 2023

Russia attacks Kharkiv, Ukrainian officials say

From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Mohammed Tawfeeq

Russian forces launched six strikes on the northeastern city of Kharkiv, Ukrainian officials said Thursday.

In a Telegram post, Oleh Syniehubov, head of the Kharkiv regional military administration, said the city's Slobidskyi district was the focus of the attacks.

"There is damage to civilian infrastructure, information about the casualties is being verified," he said.

Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said several explosions were heard in the city. "Information on the damage and casualties is being clarified," he said.

The strikes on Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, come as officials in Kyiv said the capital was also under Russian attack early Thursday.

12:10 a.m. ET, September 21, 2023

Russia launches air attack on Kyiv, Ukrainian officials say

From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Mohammed Tawfeeq

Russian forces launched an aerial attack on Kyiv early Thursday, according to officials in the Ukrainian capital.

In a Telegram post, Kyiv Mayor Vitalii Klitschko said air defenses were repelling the attacks but some buildings had been damaged.

"There are explosions in the city. Air defense is working. Stay in shelters!" Klitschko said. "In Darnytskyi district, there is destruction of non-residential buildings. There is no information about the casualties as of now."

Klitschko also warned of power outages and water cuts in some parts of the capital.

Serhii Popko, head of the Kyiv city military administration, said debris had fallen in at least two districts.

"Air raid alarm continues in Kyiv. As a result of air defense work on shooting down enemy targets, debris fell in the Holosiivskyi and Darnytskyi districts of the capital," Popko said in a Telegram post. "All emergency services are on their way. Information on casualties and damage is being clarified. Stay in shelters until the air raid alarm is over!"

11:37 p.m. ET, September 20, 2023

Kyiv's dispute with Warsaw escalates as Zelensky prepares to visit the White House. Here's the latest

From CNN staff

Poland said Wednesday it will stop providing weapons to Ukraine as tensions rise between Kyiv and Warsaw over a temporary ban on Ukrainian grain imports to some EU countries.

“We no longer transfer weapons to Ukraine because we are now arming Poland,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on social media.

The grain ban was initially put into place earlier this year to protect the livelihood of local farmers worried about being undercut by the low prices of Ukrainian grain. Last week, after the EU announced plans to suspend the ban, Poland, along with Hungary and Slovakia, said they intended to defy the change and keep the ban in place.

Kyiv has repeatedly spoken out against the ban. 

Here's what else you need to know:

  • US aid: The White House is planning to provide a new aid package to Ukraine when President Volodymyr Zelensky visits on Thursday, a US official told CNN. The package — based on existing drawdown authority — will include additional artillery, anti-armor, anti-aircraft and air defense capabilities that will better equip the country for an ongoing counteroffensive and beyond. Notably, the package is not expected to include Army Tactical Missile Systems, known as ATACMS, that would allow Ukrainian soldiers the ability to strike longer-range targets. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden is seeking to hear a "battlefield perspective" from Zelensky during his visit to Washington Thursday, the White House said.
  • Rebuilding Ukraine: Zelensky met Wednesday evening with Wall Street CEOs and business power players to discuss efforts to rebuild his war-torn country and its economy, a person familiar with the matter told CNN. The roundtable, convened by JPMorgan Chase, included former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, billionaire Mike Bloomberg, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and billionaire Barry Sternlicht, the source said. 
  • Nuclear talks: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed the safety of Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant during his meeting Wednesday with International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi. Their meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly came after Zelensky appealed to world leaders to restrain Russia's weaponization of nuclear plants.
  • UN veto: During a speech at Wednesday’s UN Security Council meeting, Zelensky called for Russia's veto power at the body to be removed. Ukrainian soldiers are doing on the battlefield "at the expense of their blood" what the UN Security Council "should do by its voting," he said.
  • On the ground: Russia said Thursday it had intercepted 22 Ukrainian drone attacks, including 19 over the Black Sea. It comes after the Ukrainian military claimed Wednesday it had successfully hit a Russian command post in occupied Crimea. A series of explosions reported in Crimea on Wednesday were the work of Ukrainian forces, Ukrainian Defense Intelligence confirmed. Elsewhere, saboteurs were responsible for an attack on an airfield near Moscow on Monday, according to Kyiv.