Heavy explosions reported in several parts of Kherson
From CNN's Julia Kesaieva and Tim Lister
There are multiple reports of heavy explosions in the Nova Kakhovka area of the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.
The town, which is occupied by Russian forces, is strategically placed on the Dnipro river and is home to a bridge that has been repeatedly attacked by Ukrainian forces. In the past few weeks, ammunition depots in the area have also been struck.
Local social media accounts speak of airstrikes and a large fire in the vicinity of a furniture factory.
There are also reports of fresh explosions near the main Antonivskiy bridge across the Dnipro river south of Kherson city, and explosions in the nearby Oleshkiy area.
There has been no official comment from either side on the reports, which come days after Ukraine announced a new offensive in the south aimed at dislodging Russian forces in Kherson.
12:20 a.m. ET, September 1, 2022
EU makes it more difficult for Russians to visit, but stops short of full visa ban
From CNN's Ivana Kottasová and Chris Liakos
The European Union has agreed to reduce the number of new visas available to Russian citizens, but stopped short of an outright ban on travel to the bloc.
EU foreign ministers decided Wednesday to fully suspend a visa facilitation agreement between the European Union and Russia that gives Russians preferential treatment when applying for an EU visa. The measure is part of the bloc's wide-ranging package of sanctions imposed on Russia over its war on Ukraine.
The EU's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said in a news conference following the ministerial meeting in Prague that the decision "will significantly reduce the number of new visas issued by the EU member states" given that the process would become more complicated and will take longer.
The agreement will still need to be approved by all member states at the European Council, the EU body that is comprised of heads of states and governments.
Borrell said the measure was necessary because there has been a "substantial increase on border crossings from Russia in neighboring states" since mid-July, which has become "a security risk for these states."
"We have seen many Russians traveling for leisure and shopping as if no war was raging in Ukraine," Borrell said. "It cannot be business as usual," he added.
Visas were already restricted to some categories of Russian nationals and many Russian officials and prominent figures close to the Kremlin have been banned from entering the bloc.