Kathimerini Greece Newsroom
The European Union is considering the possibility of organizing a "training and assistance" mission for the Ukrainian army, which will take place in neighboring countries, the EU High Representative on foreign policy Josep Borrell said on Monday.
The proposal will be discussed next week in Prague, during the Council of Defense Ministers of the EU member countries, said Mr. Borrell speaking at a press conference in Santander (northern Spain). "I hope it will be approved," he added.
#BREAKING EU mulls military training for Ukrainian forces: Borrell pic.twitter.com/owwjHC5f5P— AFP News Agency (@AFP) August 22, 2022
Kyiv bans gatherings for Independence Day
Russia meanwhile fired rockets at towns west of Europe's largest nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine early this morning, while the capital Kyiv banned rallies marking the anniversary of independence from Soviet rule over fears of Russian attacks.
Artillery and rocket fire near the Zaporizhia nuclear reactor complex on the Russian-held south bank of the Dnieper River has sparked fears of a nuclear disaster and calls for demilitarization of the surrounding area.
Ukraine and Russia have blamed each other for the bombings, some of which targeted the factory, which was seized by Russian forces shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February but still operates mainly with Ukrainian technicians.
Overnight, volleys of Russian rockets hit Nikopol, which is across the Dnieper from Russian-occupied Enerhodar, where the Zaporizhia factory is located, and the nearby towns of Kriviy Rikh and Sinelnikovsky, injuring at least four people, he wrote today in Telegram regional governor Valentin Reznichenko.
Ukraine also reported a Russian missile strike in Voznesensk, southwest of and not far from the country's second-largest nuclear power plant.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned of the risk of more serious attacks ahead of the 31st anniversary of Ukraine's independence from Soviet rule the day after Wednesday.
Local authorities in Kyiv have banned large public events, rallies and other gatherings planned in connection with the anniversary in the capital from today until Thursday due to possible rocket attacks, according to a document released by the Kyiv military administration and signed by its head Mikola Zhirnov.
Zelensky said Moscow could try "something particularly bad" ahead of August 24, which also marks six months since the start of the Russian invasion.
Zelensky said he had discussed "all threats" with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and that messages had also been sent to other leaders, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
"All of Ukraine's partners have been informed about what the terrorist state may be preparing for this week," Zelensky said in his nightly video message, referring to Russia.
In its morning briefing, Ukraine's general staff said Russian forces had advanced in the Blagodnatne region in the direction of the city of Mykolayiv, a major target in the south.
Russia is also trying to regain momentum towards Pisky, Bakhmut and Kramatorsk, key cities in Donetsk province which, along with neighboring Luhansk, captured by Moscow earlier this summer, make up the eastern Donbas region.
Russian artillery and multiple rocket launcher systems pounded areas of Solentar, Zaitseve and Biloghorifka near Bakhmut, the Ukrainian military command said in a statement.
At least two civilians were killed, the regional administration said. Russia denies targeting civilians. Reuters cannot independently confirm reports about the battlefield.
With information from REUTERS, AFP