September 25, 2023 - Russia-Ukraine news

By Tara Subramaniam, Josh Berlinger, Ed Upright, Aditi Sangal, Elise Hammond and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, September 26, 2023
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7:43 a.m. ET, September 25, 2023

Russian strikes kill 2 people in Kherson region

From CNN's Radina Gigova and Olga Voitovych 

A 73-year-old man and a 70-year-old woman were killed after Russian forces dropped four bombs on the southern Ukrainian city of Beryslav on Monday, a Ukrainian official said.

The two who died were inside a housing complex that was struck. Another two people were wounded in the attack, according to Oleksandr Prokudin, the head of the Kherson region military administration

Among the buildings damaged in Beryslav were medical facilities, an educational institution, a church and a piece of critical infrastructure. Factories in the city of Kherson were also hit, according to Prokudin.

Monday's strikes come follow continuous attacks on the region on Sunday, which also resulted in civilian casualties.  Over the past day, Russian forces have launched 87 attacks on the Kherson region, Prokudin said on social media.

6:41 a.m. ET, September 25, 2023

Kremlin declines to comment on Odesa attack, referring questions to the military

From CNN's Anna Chernova and Radina Gigova

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to answer questions about the attack on Odesa during a call with journalists, referring reporters to the Russian defense ministry.

The attack on the Ukrainian port city left at least two people dead and one wounded. Kyiv contended it was a "pathetic attempt at retaliation" following Ukraine's Friday assault on the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters on Friday.

6:59 a.m. ET, September 25, 2023

2 people have now been confirmed dead in Odesa

From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Radina Gigova

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire in a hotel at the seaport after a Russian rocket attack in Odesa, Ukraine, on September 25.
Firefighters work to extinguish a fire in a hotel at the seaport after a Russian rocket attack in Odesa, Ukraine, on September 25. Odesa Region Administration/AP

Two people have been confirmed dead following Russia's overnight attack on the southern Ukrainian port city of Odesa, according to Oleh Kiper, the head of the Odesa regional military administration.

One victim was found under the rubble of a warehouse where grain was stored, Kiper said in a social media post. The body of another individual working in the warehouse was found earlier.

Our sincere condolences to the families and friends," Kiper added. 

One injury has been reported so far.

5:56 a.m. ET, September 25, 2023

Ukraine's defense ministry says Russia's attack on Odesa was "pathetic attempt at retaliation"

From CNN's Radina Gigova, Olga Voitovych and Clare Sebastian 

Russia's overnight attack on the southern Ukrainian port city of Odesa was a "pathetic attempt at retaliation" the Ukraine Defense Ministry said Monday on social media.

The ministry contended that the Kremlin was responding to Ukrainian attack on Russia's Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol on Friday.

Ukraine's military alleged that Russia's attack on Odesa was a violation of international humanitarian law, as it targeted both troops and civilian infrastructure, including the power supply.

Ukraine's energy minister said Monday that about 1,000 consumers were without electricity. A "large-scale repair campaign" is under way, according to the ministry, and engineers continue to prepare the power system for the winter heating season.

5:26 a.m. ET, September 25, 2023

A seaport, a hotel and granaries were damaged in Russia's "massive" attack on Odesa

From CNN's Radina Gigova and Olga Voitovych 

A member of Odesa Regional Prosecutor's Office personnel inspects damage following a Russian military attack in Odesa, Ukraine, in this image released on September 25.
A member of Odesa Regional Prosecutor's Office personnel inspects damage following a Russian military attack in Odesa, Ukraine, in this image released on September 25. Odesa Regional Prosecutor's Office/Reuters

A hotel and seaport sustained "significant damage" in a missile barrage on the Ukrainian port city of Odesa overnight, according to the country's prosecutor general's office.

The attack by Russia injured at least one person, though casualty information is still being clarified as the debris is cleared, authorities said Monday.

Russian forces employed Iranian-made drones, hypersonic missiles, cruise missiles and a submarine in the assault, Ukraines defense forces said. Nineteen drones and 11 missiles were shot down.

The debris from the downed weapons damaged some warehouses and private homes. Blast waves shattered the windows of several residences, wounding a civilian woman -- the lone casualty so far reported -- the defense forces said.

The granaries were damaged in the hypersonic missile strike.

4:53 a.m. ET, September 25, 2023

How pro-war ideology is being instilled in Russia's youth

From CNN's Tim Lister and Katharina Krebs

Municipal Educational Institution "Ilyinsky House of Children's Creativity", shows children given a talk by special military operation participant
Municipal Educational Institution "Ilyinsky House of Children's Creativity", shows children given a talk by special military operation participant Municipal Educational Institution "Ilyinsky House of Children's Creativity"

Russia’s playgrounds are becoming parade grounds. At schools from the Pacific to the Black Sea, children in nursery grade don uniforms and take part in marching practice. Older kids are being taught how to dig trenches, throw grenades and shoot with real ammunition.

In schools across the country, service in the armed forces is being glorified, “voluntary companies” of teenagers are being formed and the national curriculum is being changed to emphasize defense of the motherland.

In short, Russia’s children are being prepared for war.

The militarization of Russia’s public schools has intensified since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, driven not by a spontaneous surge of patriotic feeling, but by the government in Moscow.

The investment is huge. Education Minister Sergei Kravtsov said recently that there are now about 10,000 so-called “military-patriotic” clubs in Russian schools and colleges, and a quarter-of-a-million people take part in their work.

These clubs are part of a multi-pronged effort that includes a radical overhaul of the school curriculum. There are mandatory classes on military-patriotic values; updated history books accentuate Russian military triumphs.

Read the full story here:

2:02 a.m. ET, September 25, 2023

Ukrainian drones attack border regions and Crimea, Russian officials say

From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Irene Nasser

Ukrainian drones targeted Russian border regions and the occupied Crimean peninsula overnight, Russian officials said Monday.

Here's where the attacks took place:

  • Bryansk: Alexander Bogomaz, governor of the region in western Russia, said air defenses "shot down two aircraft-type unmanned aerial vehicles," over Surazhsky district. There were no casualties or damage, he said.
  • Kursk: Gov. Roman Starovoit said several homes and an administrative building were damaged in the western border region's central district following Ukrainian drone attacks. No casualties were reported, he said.
  • Crimea and the Black Sea: Russia's defense ministry said it destroyed four drones over the northwestern part of the Black Sea and over Crimea overnight. It comes after Kyiv launched one of its most ambitious attacks yet on the peninsula Friday, targeting Russia's Black Sea headquarters.
4:38 a.m. ET, September 25, 2023

Russian strikes caused "significant damage" to Odesa port, Ukrainian military says

From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Irene Nasser

A firefighter works at a site of a hotel damaged by a Russian military attack in Odesa, Ukraine, on September 25.
A firefighter works at a site of a hotel damaged by a Russian military attack in Odesa, Ukraine, on September 25. Press service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in Odesa region/Reuters

The southern port of Odesa sustained "significant damage" in Russian strikes overnight, Ukrainian military officials said Monday, as more details emerged of Moscow's latest attack on Ukraine's grain export infrastructure.

In a Telegram post, the Defense Forces of the South of Ukraine said Russia launched two Oniks supersonic missiles, 12 Kalibr cruise missies and 19 Shahed drones at Odesa overnight.

Air defenses intercepted all of the drones and 11 of the Kalibr missiles, but "unfortunately, the enemy hit the port infrastructure,"  it said.

The attacks also caused a fire at a defunct hotel, the post added.

Russia has repeatedly attacked Odesa in recent months, targeting Ukrainian grain infrastructure following the collapse of the Black Sea grain deal.

In a Telegram post earlier Monday, Oleh Kiper, head of the region's military administration, said at least one civilian was injured in the overnight attacks.

12:14 a.m. ET, September 25, 2023

Russia targets Odesa port following deadly strikes in southern Ukraine. Here's the latest

From CNN staff

A Russian attack hit port infrastructure in Ukraine's southern Odesa region overnight, sparking a fire and injuring at least one civilian, a Ukrainian official said Monday.

Moscow's forces have repeatedly attacked Odesa in recent months, targeting Ukrainian grain infrastructure following the collapse of the Black Sea grain deal.

It comes after Russian shelling killed three people and wounded at least nine others Sunday in the southern Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, Ukrainian officials said.

Here are some of the other latest developments from the war in Ukraine:

  • Grain transit: Poland has prepared transit corridors that will allow Ukrainian grain shipments to move through its territory and reach the countries most in need, President Andrzej Duda said Sunday. The comments are notable because the Polish government has joined Hungary and Slovakia in extending a ban on cheap Ukrainian grain imports, which they say have undercut local farmers.
  • Pope on "martyrs": Pope Francis on Saturday told journalists that the withholding of weapons to Ukraine is turning the Ukrainian people into "martyrs." The Pope also spoke of the "paradox" of countries supplying Ukraine with weapons before taking them away. The pontiff was possibly referring to the recent decision by Poland to stop providing weapons to Ukraine, amid a growing dispute between the two countries over the temporary ban on Ukrainian grain imports.
  • New battlefield video: The Ukrainian military on Sunday released additional footage from the battle for the village of Andriivka, a small hamlet immediately south of the city of Bakhmut, which Kyiv's forces say they reclaimed on September 15. Liberating Andriivka was considered a key step in the fight for Bakhmut, Maksym Zhorin, deputy commander of Ukraine's Third Separate Assault Brigade, said at the time.
  • DPR curfew: curfew and a communications censorship took effect Sunday in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine, according to Russian state media. The curfew will last from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. on weekdays, starting on Monday, according to a decree signed by the region’s Russia-backed leader, Denis Pushilin, state news agency TASS reported. An additional decree imposes a military censorship on mail, internet communications and phone conversations, TASS said.