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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

Aug 23 (Reuters) - Russia carried out artillery and air strikes in the Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine's General Staff said, where fighting near Europe's largest nuclear power plant has raised fears of a catastrophic nuclear incident.

FIGHTING

* Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, has banned public celebrations commemorating Ukraine's independence from Soviet rule on mounting threat of attacks.

* Kharkiv and Mykolaiv have also imposed curbs ahead of Ukraine's 31st independence anniversary on Wednesday.

* The U.S. embassy in Kyiv warned Russia was planning to strike Ukrainian infrastructure in the coming days.

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

* Reuters could not confirm the battlefield reports.

DIPLOMACY, ECONOMY

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

* 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 sea ports, a deputy chair of the Ukrainian Agrarian Council said.

* Russia's embassy in London 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, TOLL

* 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.

* 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.

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 Himani Sarkar)

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