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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 Chaplyne in eastern Ukraine, officials in Kyiv said, with missile strikes north of the capital as Ukraine marked its Independence Day on Wednesday under heavy shelling.

NUCLEAR PLANT

* Ukraine's Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, whose area has been hit by shelling, has been completely disconnected from the Ukrainian grid for the first time ever after nearby fires interfered with power lines, state nuclear company Energoatom said.

* The U.N. nuclear watchdog is "very, very close" to being able to go to the Zaporizhzhia reactor complex in southern Ukraine, its chief Rafael Grossi told France 24 TV.

FIGHTING

* Russia's defence ministry said its forces hit a military train at Chaplyne railway station.

* On the 31st anniversary of Ukrainian independence, Russia's military targeted frontline cities and towns including Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Nikopol and Dnipro, but avoided Kyiv, presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said.

* Ukrainian forces shot down a Russian drone in the Vinnytsia region while Russian missiles landed in the Khmelnytskyi area, regional authorities said, both west of Kyiv and hundreds of kilometres from front lines. No damage or casualties were reported. Reuters could not verify the accounts.

* 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.

* Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to increase the size of Russia's armed forces from 1.9 million to 2.04 million as the war in Ukraine enters its seventh month.

DIPLOMACY, ECONOMY

* The top United Nations official in Ukraine said she was shocked by military strikes that killed children and other civilians in the town of Chaplyne on Wednesday, and called on all parties to adhere to international law.

* U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet called on Putin to halt armed attacks on Ukraine and said the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant must be demilitarized.

* Ukraine's economy should stabilise over the coming year and expand by as much as 15.5% in 2023, depending on military developments in the war against Russia, the country's economy minister told Reuters in an interview.

(Compiled by Gareth Jones and Mark Heinrich)

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