MUKASHEVEVO, Ukraine – Russia continued its assault on Ukrainian cities overnight, with major attacks on the capital Kyiv, Kharkiv and Chernihiv in the northeast, and the southeastern port of Mariupol, according to UK MoD estimates.
Russian state media, citing Russian defense officials, said that Russian forces control Kherson, a vital port linking the Black Sea and the Dnieper River. But the mayor of Kherson confirmed the presence of tanks and enemy forces in the city, and said that they are still in the hands of Ukraine. Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said via WhatsApp that the battles are now going on and “the city has not been completely captured”.
Russian forces continued to face stiff resistance from Ukrainian military and civilian fighters, which, combined with ongoing logistical struggles, limited their gains over the past 24 hours.
“The enemy is massing its forces near the capital,” Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, said in a video clip, calling on residents to remain strong. He said that Russian forces fired on the northwestern suburb of the city during the night: “We are preparing and we will defend Kyiv.”
Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, suffered another night of airstrikes, with videos on social media, which could not be immediately verified, purporting to show explosions at the regional police headquarters and in residential areas. A local official said Russian parachutes landed and engaged Ukrainians in a gun battle at a medical center.
In Kherson, videos confirmed by the Washington Post showed heavy fighting, with a raid targeting an apartment building and Russian tanks rolling into a residential area.
In a Facebook message, Mayor Igor Kulekhaev urged residents to stay home and pledged to keep the city functioning. He said the first priorities are to restore electricity, water and heating where it was lost and to collect the dead. “Last night, when my team and I were in the mayor’s office, the building was bombed. Everyone is alive,” he wrote. But I ask you again: Do not leave the house. Do not incite the shootings with your actions and behavior. “.
He concluded by saying, “We are all waiting for a miracle to happen. We need it.”
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