EU chief Ursula von der Leyen arrives in Kyiv
Kyiv, Sep 15: President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen arrived in the Ukrainian capital on Thursday morning.
She had announced her visit on Wednesday during her State of the European Union address to the Eureopean Parliament in Strasbourg, for which Olena Zelenska, wife of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, was present.
Thursday's visit marks von der Leyen's third trip to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began in February.
"So much has changed. Ukraine is now a European Union candidate," von der Leyen wrote on Twitter.
"I'll discuss with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal how to continue getting our economies and people closer while Ukraine progresses towards accession."
🇺🇦 In Kyiv, for my 3rd visit since the start of Russia’s war.— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) September 15, 2022
So much has changed.
Ukraine is now a 🇪🇺 candidate.
I’ll discuss with @ZelenskyyUa and @Denys_Shmyhal how to continue getting our economies and people closer while Ukraine progresses towards accession. pic.twitter.com/zs9tMm0Mx1
Ukraine applied for membership of the EU while under Russian bombardment and was granted candidate status in less than four months.
The Commission president is set to discuss the integration of Ukraine into the EU's single market which allows the free movement of goods, capital, services and people.
Von der Leyen has also proposed letting Ukraine join the EU's free-roaming zone that allows mobile users to make calls and send messages within the zone at no extra cost.
Here's a roundup of some of the other key developments regarding Russia's invasion of Ukraine on September 15.
Flood water 'receding' after strike on Kryvyi Rih dam
Teams were working to repair a hydraulic system that was damaged on Wednesday when eight Russian cruise missiles hit a dam in the city of Kryvyi Rih — the largest city in central Ukraine with a pre-war population of around 650,000.
Some 112 homes were reportedly flooded after water escaped from the Karachunivske reservoir, Oleksandr Vilkul, head of the Kryvyi Rih military administration said on Telegram.
He added that the "flooding was receding" and repairs on the dam had begun.
In an overnight address, President Zelenskyy slammed the Russian strike, saying "the objects have no military value at all."
"At the site of the missile attack on Kryvyi Rih, everything is being done to eliminate the consequences of this yet another Russian vile act," he said.
UK: Signs of partial 'disorganized retreat' following Ukrainian counteroffensive
The daily intelligence update from the British Ministry of Defense highlighted the varied manner with which Russian troops retreated from certain areas amid Ukraine's surprise counteroffensive last week.
"The way in which Russian forces have withdrawn in the last week has varied," the update on Twitter said. "Some units retreated in relatively good order and under control, while others fled in apparent panic."
It also gave an example of the abandonment of several pieces of "high-value equipment" by retreating Russian forces.
The ministry also said that this likely evidenced "localized breakdowns in command and control."