Today there were attacks in Kramatorsk. Here are some pictures of the destruction.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, in Strasbourg, France on January 18. (Philipp von Ditfurth/picture-alliance/dpa/AP)

A joint summit between the European Union and Ukraine due to be held in Kyiv on Friday is a “very strong signal” of support, a senior EU official said at a briefing ahead of the meeting.

Speaking to journalists in Brussels this week, a senior EU official said holding the meeting in Kyiv during Russia’s invasion “is a signal above all to the Ukrainians of support, personally, that they are there”.

“This is a signal, of course, to Russia as well,” the official added.

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, arrived in the Ukrainian capital on Thursday, along with her commissioners, ahead of the summit.

This is the 24th summit between the European Union and Ukraine, but the first since the beginning of the Russian invasion and also since the European Council gave Ukraine the status of a candidate country.

The leaders are expected to discuss Ukraine’s progress towards full EU membership, the response to Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine, further support for Ukraine and global food security.

The official said that “the question of whether Ukraine will join the European family has been answered with a resounding yes, it is no longer a question of whether.”

However, they did not want to speculate on when this process would end, as it historically takes years to become a full member of the EU.

A second senior EU official has welcomed Ukraine’s recent anti-corruption efforts, including a recent government shake-up amid a growing corruption scandal.

“Of course, there is a lot of work to be done on this and we are working with Ukraine on this,” the official added.

On January 24, a spokesperson for the European Commission said that “anti-corruption measures are, of course, an important dimension of the EU accession process.”

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