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332623

Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

Aug 22 (Reuters) - Ukraine's capital Kyiv banned public celebrations this week commemorating independence from Soviet rule, citing a heightened threat of attack as a U.S. official warned of Russian plans to strike Ukrainian infrastructure in the coming days.

FIGHTING

* The United States has intelligence that Russia is planning to launch fresh attacks against Ukraine's civilian infrastructure and government facilities soon, a U.S. official said on Monday, citing downgraded intelligence.

* Russian rockets fired at Nikopol, Krivyi Rih and Synelnykovsky, all close to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Europe's largest, injured at least four people overnight regional Governor Valentyn Reznichenko wrote on Telegram.

* Reuters could not independently confirm the battlefield reports.

* Nearly 9,000 Ukrainian military personnel have been killed in the war with Russia, the head of Ukraine's armed forces said. The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said 5,587 civilians had been killed and 7,890 wounded between Feb. 24 and Aug. 21.

CAR BOMB DEATH

* Russia's Federal Security Service accused Ukraine's secret services on Monday of killing Darya Dugina, the daughter of an ultra-nationalist, in a car bomb attack near Moscow that President Vladimir Putin called "evil".

DIPLOMACY, ECONOMY

* President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said if Russia went ahead with plans to try captured Ukrainian defenders in Mariupol, then it would have violated international rules and cut itself off from negotiations.

* Ukraine's agricultural exports are likely to rise to about 4 million tonnes in August, from 3 million tonnes in July, thanks to the U.N.-brokered deal that unblocked Ukrainian sea ports, a deputy chair of the Ukrainian Agrarian Council said.

* Germany has a good chance of getting through the coming winter without taking drastic measures but must prepare nonetheless for Russia to tighten gas supplies further, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said.

* Russia's embassy in London on Monday called Britain hypocritical for a statement by its foreign ministry last week that questioned Russia's "moral right" to sit at the Group of 20 nations.

MILESTONES

* This week marks six months since Vladimir Putin ordered tens of thousands of Russian troops into Ukraine for a "special military operation" - an invasion on a scale unseen in Europe since World War Two. Tens of thousands have been killed, millions have fled and cities have been flattened by Russia's relentless bombardment.

QUOTE

"Of course, we are worried. ... It's like sitting on a powder keg," said Alexander Lifirenko who lives in Enerhodar, a Ukrainian town near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant now under control of pro-Moscow forces.

(Compiled by Hugh Lawson, Catherine Evans and Cynthia Osterman)

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