There were attacks in Kramatorsk today. 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 senior EU official told a news briefing before the meeting that the EU-Ukraine summit scheduled for Friday in Kyiv was a “very strong signal” of support.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels this week, a senior EU official said that holding the meeting in Kyiv during the Russian invasion “is a signal first and foremost to the Ukrainians, of personal support for being there.”

“It’s a signal, of course, to Russia as well,” the official added.

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

This is the 24th EU-Ukraine summit, but the first since the start of the Russian invasion and also since the European Council granted Ukraine candidate-state status.

The leaders are expected to discuss Ukraine’s progress towards becoming a full member of the European Union, a response to Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine, more support for Ukraine and global food security.

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

However, they did not want to speculate when this process would end, as it takes years for a country to become a full member of the European Union.

A second senior EU official welcomed Ukraine’s recent anti-corruption efforts, including the recent change of government amid a growing corruption scandal.

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

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

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