Russia-Ukraine war: What happened today (June 23)

War in Ukraine 6/23

European Union leaders approved Ukraine's candidacy to join the 27-nation bloc. Ukraine applied shortly after Russia invaded the country on Feb. 24. "Our future is together," tweeted European Council President Charles Michel. This first official step toward membership, agreed at a summit in Brussels, will be followed by a long process to reach a final decision on whether Ukraine can join the EU. That process is expected to take years. The EU leaders also approved Moldova's candidacy for membership.

The Pentagon announced an additional $450 million in security assistance for Ukraine, including four additional High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems. Ukraine considers the long-range weapon system critical in beating back Russian forces. This latest wave of security assistance comes on top of $1 billion in weaponry recently announced by the White House.

Russia's military continues to grind away at Ukrainian defenses in the east, pushing toward the eastern city of Lysychansk, according to the U.K. Defense Ministry.