Live: Six months into Russian invasion, Ukraine marks Independence Day with resilience

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Issued on: 24/08/2022 – 00:05

Ukraine on Wednesday marks both its independence from Soviet rule in 1991 and six months since the Russian invasion on February 24. President Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed a tough response to Russian attacks on the country’s holiday, echoing a national defiance as the war drags on. Follow our liveblog for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).


  • Six months after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, the conflict rages with no end in sight. Western intelligence sources, however, say the momentum is shifting against Russia.
  • Nearly 9,000 Ukrainian soldiers have died since the February 24 invasion, Ukraine’s military chief said this week.
  • The UN has confirmed the deaths of more than 5,500 Ukrainian civilians. The real toll is likely to be much higher.
  • At an international forum on the eve of Independence Day, Zelensky vowed to take back Crimea, the southern peninsula Russia annexed in 2014.
  • A spate of explosions have rocked Crimea in recent weeks. Ukraine has not claimed responsibility, but has hinted its forces played a role.
  • The Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southeastern Ukraine has been hit by shelling in recent weeks, prompting calls for an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission to the site.
  • Fears of intensified Russian attacks mounted after the killing over the weekend of Darya Dugina, daughter of a prominent Russian ultra-nationalist, in a car bombing near Moscow. Russia blamed Ukraine for the attack, a charge Kyiv denies.

12:05am: UN nuclear agency renews request to access Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

The UN nuclear agency renewed its request Tuesday to assess the safety and security at Europe’s largest nuclear plant in southeastern Ukraine which Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of shelling, sparking warnings of a possible nuclear catastrophe.

At the start of an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, UN political chief Rosemary DiCarlo announced that Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, requested to send an IAEA mission “to carry out essential safety, security and safeguard activities at the site.”


DiCarlo said the UN has the logistics and security capacity in Ukraine “to support any IAEA mission to the plant from Kyiv, provided Ukraine and Russia agree.”

The Zaporizhzhia plant has been under the control of Russian forces since early March, soon after their invasion of Ukraine. Technical experts from Ukraine continue to operate the nuclear equipment.

© France Médias Monde graphic studio