Two Russian rockets hit communities near Ukraine's capital Kyiv overnight into Thursday, according to Oleksiy Kuleba, head of Kyiv's regional state administration.
"At night, the enemy launched a rocket attack on one of the communities of the Vyshhorod district. Two hits were recorded," Kuleba said.
No injuries or destruction of infrastructure was reported, he added.
Kuleba said an assessment of the areas impacted continues and that other explosions heard by those in the area were from Ukraine's air defense.
3:11 a.m. ET, August 25, 2022
Ukrainian official claims Russia killed 3, detained dozens of Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant workers
From CNN's Petro Zadorozhnyy and Philip Wang
The Russian military has killed three Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant workers and detained 26 more during its occupation of the facility, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Lubinets said on Wednesday.
According to Lubinets, the three workers were killed from beatings or shelling, while Russia accuses the detainees of “passing on information about the movement and location of Russian military equipment” in the region.
“This is the Ukrainian nuclear power plant where Ukrainian nuclear engineers work, who are free to communicate with anyone who can ensure the preservation of the integrity of the nuclear power plant, ” Lubinets said, adding that “dozens of people were kidnapped” from the plant and their fate remains unknown.
US President Joe Biden and Western leaders have stressed the need for the United Nations nuclear watchdog to visit the plant in southeastern Ukraine, where shelling has sparked fears of a disaster.
Kyiv and Moscow have made a barrage of accusations against each other about security and military action at and around the plant, the largest nuclear complex in Europe. But the lack of independent access to the plant, which has been occupied by Russian forces since March, makes it impossible to verify what is happening there.
Lubinets also called on the UN and the International Atomic Energy Agency to expedite the establishment of the demilitarized zone around the plant and add protections for its personnel to ensure maintenance of the facility.
9:13 p.m. ET, August 24, 2022
US to provide Ukraine with counter-unmanned aerial systems to "shoot missiles out of the sky"
From CNN's Ellie Kaufman
The US will provide Ukraine VAMPIRE counter-unmanned aerial system, or counter-drone system that uses "small missiles essentially to shoot missiles out of the sky," Department of Defense undersecretary for policy Dr. Colin Kahl told reporters on Wednesday.
The VAPIRE counter-UAS systems are included in the latest $3 billion US security assistance package for Ukraine announced Wednesday.
The US continues to "train Ukrainian forces on all systems" that the US and NATO allies are providing, Kahl said. This training has been happening on a "rolling basis," he added.
For training on systems included in the latest package of security assistance, the US believes there is "time to train the Ukrainians on whatever system they are not familiar with," Kahl said.
Because the latest security assistance comes from Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funding — meaning it will be sourced and produced by industry partners and not directly from DoD stockpiles of weapons — it could take "months to get on contract and one, two, three years in some instances to arrive in Ukraine," Kahl said.
8:10 p.m. ET, August 24, 2022
Ukraine's Independence Day darkened by deadly missile strike
From CNN's Tara John and Yulia Kesaieva in Kyiv, Ukraine
Ukraine's Independence Day, which on Wednesday marked the 31st anniversary of when the country voted to break with the Soviet Union, was a more somber affair this year, with officials attending memorials. The day was darkened by a missile strike on an eastern Ukrainian train station which killed at least 22 people — fulfilling warnings by Ukrainian officials.
While previous years have been marked by celebrations and parades, Wednesday's commemoration came exactly six months after Russia's invasion of the country began.
President Volodymyr Zelensky marked the day with an emotional address that spoke of the Russian invasion as a new independence day — the day Ukraine had to fight for its freedom, rather than simply voting for it at the ballot box.
"A new nation emerged on Feb. 24 at 4 a.m. Not born, but reborn. A nation that didn't cry, didn't scream, didn't get scared. Didn't run away. Didn't give up. Didn't forget," Zelensky said Wednesday. "Every new day is a new reason not to give up. Because, having gone through so much, we have no right not to reach the end. What is the end of the war for us? We used to say: Peace. Now we say: Victory."
Across the country, Ukrainians paid tribute to those who have been killed in military action since the invasion began. Foreign leaders, such as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, also visited Kyiv.
In the capital, Zelensky and first lady Olena Zelenska visited the Memory Wall of Fallen Defenders of Ukraine. In the Western city of Lviv, visibly emotional family members of fallen soldiers attended a ceremony at the memorial, the Field of Mars.
Biden to speak with Zelensky on Thursday as US warns of upcoming "sham referenda"
From CNN's Kevin Liptak
US President Joe Biden will speak Thursday with Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky to update him on US arms shipments and congratulate him on Ukrainian Independence Day, according to the White House.
John Kirby, the communications coordinator at the National Security Council, said the US would continue to "rally the free world" and "galvanize allies and partners" to support Ukraine as the Russian invasion hits the six-month mark.
He said the phone call between Biden and Zelensky would reaffirm those commitments.
"The President's looking forward to that," Kirby said, while saying there were no travel plans to discuss for Biden to visit Kyiv. He said if a "trip makes sense," it would come under consideration.