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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

Aug 25 (Reuters) - A Russian missile attack killed 22 civilians and set a passenger train on fire in eastern Ukraine, officials in Kyiv said, with missile strikes north of the capital as Ukraine marked its Independence Day under heavy shelling.

INDEPENDENCE DAY

* Ukraine will never give up its fight for freedom from Russia's domination, Zelenskiy said in emotional speech on the Aug. 24 public holiday.

* He said Ukraine would recapture its annexed peninsula of Crimea from Russia by any means.

* On a surprise visit to the capital Kyiv, British Prime Minister Johnson lauded Ukraine for its "indomitable" resistance in six months of war and said now was not the time to promote a "flimsy plan for negotiation" with Moscow.

* Kyiv banned public celebrations of the national holiday and the cities of Kharkiv and Mykolaiv also imposed restrictions for fear of Russian attacks.

FIGHTING

* Russian Defence Minister Shoigu said the slowing pace of Moscow's military campaign was deliberate and aimed at reducing civilian casualties. Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russian forces of war crimes and targeting civilians, charges Moscow rejects.

* Ukraine's top military intelligence official said Russia's offensive was slowing because of morale and physical fatigue in their ranks and Moscow's "exhausted" resource base.

* The Russian-installed head of Mykhailivka in the Russian-controlled part of Zaporizhzhia region was killed in a car bomb attack on Tuesday, an official in the region's Russian-backed administration said.

* Two employees of Ukraine's Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant have been detained for passing information to Ukrainian authorities, Russia's National Guard said.

* Reuters could not confirm the battlefield reports.

POLITICS, AID

* Pope Francis and the head of the Russian Orthodox church, who backs the war in Ukraine, will not meet when both men attend a gathering of religious leaders in Kazakhstan next month, RIA news agency cited a senior Orthodox official as saying.

* Russian opposition politician Yevgeny Roizman was shown being detained in a video on social media, as authorities punish critics of the war.

* U.S. President Biden marked Ukraine's independence day with a new package of about $3 billion in military aid.

(Compiled by Stephen Coates)

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