Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

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Aug 18 (Reuters) - Ukrainian forces said they had beaten back a Russian attack in the southern region of Kherson, while shelling by Kremlin forces in Kharkiv in Ukraine's north killed seven people as the near six-month war grinds on with no let up in fighting. read more

FIGHTING

* Russian bombardments in a residential area of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-biggest city, on Wednesday evening killed seven people and injured 16, the Ukrainian Emergencies Service said.

* Ukrainian forces killed 29 "occupiers" as well as destroying artillery, armoured vehicles and a military supply depot, the south district of the Operational Command of the Ukrainian armed forces said .

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* Russia's Black Sea fleet based in annexed Crimea has installed a new commander, RIA news agency cited sources as saying on Wednesday, after Russian military bases on the peninsula were rocked by explosions in the past nine days. read more

* Ukrainian technicians at the Russian-held nuclear power plant hit by shelling work under the barrels of Russian guns and face huge pressure, but they are staying on to make sure there is no Chornobyl-style disaster, one of them said. read more

* Reuters could not confirm battlefield reports independently.

DIPLOMACY

* U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres will meet Ukrainian President Zelenskiy in Lviv in western Ukraine to discuss the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, along with finding a political solution to the conflict, a spokesman said. read more

* Russia's defence ministry accused Ukraine of planning a "provocation" at the plant on Friday while Guterres is visiting Ukraine, Russian state-owned news agency RIA reported.

ECONOMY

* Three more ships with exports left Ukraine's Black Sea ports on Wednesday, a monitoring group said, bringing the number of vessels to leave Ukraine under a U.N.-brokered grain export deal to 24. The Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) said Sara, carrying 8,000 tonnes of corn, and Efe, carrying 7,250 tonnes of sunflower oil, both left Odesa port and were bound for Turkey.

* Russia forecasts its average export gas price will more than double this year to $730 per 1,000 cubic meters before gradually falling until the end of 2025, as pipeline gas exports decrease, an economy ministry forecast seen by Reuters showed. read more

* Ukraine's state nuclear power company Energoatom said Russian-based hackers carried out a three-hour attack on its website but had not caused significant problems.

(This story corrects paragraph 8 to remove erroneous reference to plans for Guterres to visit Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station. The Russian Defence Ministry referred to his visit to Ukraine, and did not say he planned to visit the plant.)

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Compiled by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Robert Birsel

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