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Frontline report: Russia shells Ukrainian cities retaliating Ukraine’s attack on airbase in Crimea

Ukraine struck Russian-occupied Crimea with dozens of drones and missiles on September 21. Russia responded by firing 43 missiles at Ukrainian cities.
Screenshot from the video
Frontline report: Russia shells Ukrainian cities retaliating Ukraine’s attack on airbase in Crimea

Day 575. 21 September

On 21 September, the strikes in the south reached peak intensity. Ukrainians conducted the biggest drone strike in the war, combining it with Strom Shadow missiles, while Russians launched almost half a hundred missiles in retaliation.

First, in response to 20 September’s devastation on the Russian bases inflicted by the Ukrainian strike, Russian forces responded reciprocally and retaliated with a missile strike.

The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Russians launched 43 missiles and that 36 of them were intercepted. Still, the remaining seven missiles hit Ukrainian cities.

The first target of the Russian strike became a substation connected to one of the Thermal Power Plants in Rivne.

This was the first time in a very long time since Russians targeted Ukrainian energy infrastructure. As a result, five cars parked nearby were damaged, and some parts of the city temporarily lost electricity.

The second target became the hotel “Tsentralna” in Cherkasy. Russian sources claimed that the hotel was a base for foreign mercenaries. However, the abundant footage from the first moments of the strike till the end of evacuation shows that there were around 24 people in the hotel–all Ukrainian civilians.

Screenshot from the video

In Kyiv, Russians reportedly tried to hit the radio factory. However, judging by the hole in the ground in the backyard, the missile missed the target and fell into the residential area, damaging a lot of small houses, cars, and a dormitory.

Screenshot from the video

In Drohobych, Lviv Oblast, local residents reported hearing at least three explosions in the industrial area. Given the lack of footage, it seems like Russians hit a military object this time, possibly a warehouse with equipment.

Regarding the good news, Ukrainians broke all records and conducted the biggest drone strike in this war.

Screenshot from the video

The Russian Ministry of Defense reported that over the last day, they intercepted 75 drones, 19 of which in the morning and 5 Strom Shadow missiles.

In light of the abundance of footage of explosions, the analysts concluded that Ukrainians launched more than 100 drones and up to 2 dozen missiles.

The main target of the strike became the Russian airfield in Novofedorivka, Russia-occupied Crimea. Ukrainian Intelligence reported that at the moment of the strike, Russians had 12 fighter jets of various types and one air defense Pantsir. The airfield is also used as a training base for operators of drones Mojaher, so there were a lot of aerial targets.

To create a safe passage, Ukrainians also sent groups of drones to Rozdolne, Daleke, and Mizhvodne from the north and Belbek airfield and Sevastopol from the west, Russia-occupied Crimea. After that, Ukrainians launched Neptune missiles at the airfield.

Screenshot from the video

As a result, it was reported that Russian aviation suffered significant damage and destruction. Some Russian sources also mentioned that Russians also lost at least 30 soldiers. Later, the Ukrainian General Staff confirmed that they conducted a combined attack on the airfield.

Nonetheless, this was not the only successful strike on 21 September. Geolocated footage suggests that many targets were also hit around Sevastopol. So far, there is not enough information regarding the target of this strike.

However, more information became available about the strike in this place on 20 September. Recently released satellite footage from Planet Labs shows the aftermath of the Strom Shadow strike on the command post of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Ukrainian Intelligence reported that this was communication center 744 of the Russian command. The Russian command used this previously abandoned base instead of the main one because Ukrainians already hit their main headquarters with the drones in the past.

The safety measures did not help Russians. By the way, after evacuating all of their submarines from Sevastopol, Russians started evacuating all assault landing ships. Hence, it looks like Crimea no longer has its fleet, and after today – also aviation.

In the meantime, Ukrainians conducted a precision strike on another Russian command center – this time in Melitopol, Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Ukrainian Intelligence found out that Russians started using a former engine factory, communicated this information to the Air Force, and together destroyed it. As a result, dozens of officers were killed and dozens hospitalized, including the commander of the Russian 58th Army.

In our daily frontline report, we pair up with the military blogger Reporting from Ukraine to keep you informed about what is happening on the battlefield in the Russo-Ukrainian war.

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