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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

Aug 23 (Reuters) - President Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned Moscow of a powerful response if Russian forces carry out attacks on or around Ukraine's Independence Day after a U.S. official said it had intelligence Russia was planning to attack civilian infrastructure and government facilities.

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.

* Zelenskiy said on Tuesday Ukraine would recapture its annexed peninsula of Crimea from Russia by any means it deemed right, and that it would not consult other countries before doing so.

* Reuters could not confirm the battlefield reports.

DIPLOMACY, ECONOMY

* Russian politicians bade farewell at a service on Tuesday to Darya Dugina, the daughter of one of Russia's most prominent nationalist ideologues, hailing her as a martyr whose death must inspire Russian forces fighting in Ukraine.

* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed the situation around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant with French counterpart Catherine Colonna, the Russian ministry said. Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for strikes around the plant.

* A total of 33 cargo ships carrying around 719,549 tonnes of foodstuffs have left Ukraine under a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey to unblock Ukrainian sea ports, the Ukrainian Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday.

* EU members Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Finland, which all share a border with Russia, may stop Russian tourists from entering their countries if the EU does not enact a bloc-wide ban, Lithuania's foreign minister said.

MILESTONES, TOLL

* This week marks six months since President 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 on Monday. Russia has not said how many of its soldiers have been killed. Reuters has been unable to verify the losses suffered by either side.

* 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

"Probably no one has done as much to unite Ukraine as Putin," said Kyiv resident Yevhen Palamarchuk, 38, ahead of Wednesday's Independence Day. "We always had some internal tensions in the country but since 2014, and especially since February, we are united more than ever."

(Compiled by Himani Sarkar and Alison Williams)

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