Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credits: SERGEY BOBOK / AFP 16:55 p.m., September 19, 2023

On the 572nd day of the Russian invasion, Ukrainian authorities announced that six civilians had been killed on Tuesday, in three different cities of the country. The strikes come before Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke at the UN, physically present for the first time since the Russian invasion.

Russian strikes in Ukraine on Tuesday killed three civilians in Kupyansk (east), two others in Kherson (south) and a sixth in Lviv (west), Ukrainian authorities said. "The enemy carried out a strike on Kupyansk using a guided aerial bomb. Three civilians were killed," Kharkiv governor Oleg Synegubov wrote on Telegram, denouncing "yet another war crime by the Russian occupiers."

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The main information:

- Russian strikes kill three civilians in Kupyansk, two more in Kherson and a sixth in Lviv

- Kiev says it shot down 27 Russian drones overnight

- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will take the podium at the UN on Tuesday for the first time since the Russian invasion

- US Abrams tanks soon in Ukraine to support counteroffensive

Kherson, Lviv, cities targeted

In Kherson, a Russian bombardment hit a trolleybus in the morning, killing a policeman who was nearby and wounding two passengers, said Roman Mrotchko, head of the military administration of this large southern city, liberated in November by the Ukrainian army. One of the injured, 57, succumbed to his injuries, the official added several hours later.

Earlier in the day, the governor of the Lviv region reported one dead in a night Russian drone attack on this important regional center in the west, nearly 1,000 kilometers from the front line. From 1:30 GMT, an AFP journalist heard these drones and then explosions. While "seven drones were shot down" on the territory of the region, warehouses in the city of Lviv were hit three times, Governor Maksym Kozytsky said on Telegram. A fire broke out on an area of more than 9,000 m2, he added.

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The body of a 32-year-old man was found under the rubble, the governor said. Another 26-year-old man was hospitalized and a third 68-year-old received medical treatment at the scene, according to the same source. The strike "completely set on fire" the warehouse of the NGO Caritas-Spes which contained 300 tons of relief supplies, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement.

"I condemn in the strongest terms a Russian airstrike," said UN humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine Denise Brown. "Attacks on humanitarian resources have intensified during the year with consequences for those suffering the horrific consequences of war," she said.

Ukrainian military shoots down 27 Iranian-made drones

Ukraine's military said Tuesday it shot down 27 Iranian-made Shahed-type drones out of a total of 30 launched by Russia overnight. In the southern Mykolaiv region, ten Shahed drones were shot down overnight by air defenses, Governor Vitaly Kim said Tuesday. "There are no injuries," he said.

In Dnipropetrovsk (center-east), Governor Sergei Lysak reported damage and one wounded after artillery fire. Russia uses these Iranian-made devices and missiles almost every night to bomb Ukrainian cities.

Zelensky expected at the UN rostrum

On the international stage, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will take the podium at the UN on Tuesday for the first time since the Russian invasion, facing an international community fragmented and shaken by serial crises, especially the war in Ukraine. A year ago, he was exceptionally allowed to intervene via video message. This time, he will be there in person, for the high-level session of the annual United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday and a special meeting of the Security Council on Wednesday, before leaving for Washington where he will be received at the White House on Thursday.

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"For us, it is very important that our words, all our messages, are heard by our partners," he said Monday while meeting Ukrainian soldiers wounded at the front in a New York hospital. "Ukraine will present a concrete proposal to UN member states on how to fortify the principle of territorial integrity and improve the UN's ability to thwart and stop aggression," he said on X (formerly Twitter).

Olena @ZelenskaUA and I arrived in the United States for the high-level week of the UN General Assembly and a visit to Washington, D.C.I

will attend the General Assembly, SDG Summit, and Security Council meetings at the UN, as well as a number of important bilateral talks....

— Volodymyr Zelenskyy / Володимир зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) September 18, 2023

US Abrams tanks soon in Ukraine to support counteroffensive

The Ukrainian counter-offensive is "progressing steadily" against Russian troops and will soon be supported by the arrival on the ground of Abrams heavy tanks, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin assured Tuesday at the opening of a meeting of Ukraine's allies in Germany. This 15th coordination meeting of military aid to Ukraine, on the American base of Ramstein (south), brings together about fifty countries in the presence of the new Ukrainian Minister of Defense, Rustem Umerov, whose country is asking for more resources to repel the Russian invasion.

Engaged since early June in a difficult counter-offensive against Russian fortified lines, Ukrainian forces have increased their pressure over the past two weeks. According to Lloyd Austin, the counteroffensive "continues to advance steadily". Lloyd Austin also announced that the American Abrams tanks promised earlier this year in Kiev "will soon enter Ukraine". According to a senior US military official, the first tanks will arrive in the coming days and the process will be completed in the coming weeks.