Ukraine officials say Kharkiv, the country’s second largest city, is under the control of the Ukrainian army after an overnight attack by Russian forces.
Local officials urged civilians to take shelter in their homes early Sunday morning amid reports of street fighting and an “extensive exchange of artillery shells”. The British Ministry of Defense reported.
But by the afternoon, the streets were quieter, according to news reports and social media — and the officials themselves had declared victory, for now.
“Control of Kharkiv is entirely ours! The armed forces, police and defense forces are working, and the city is completely cleared of the enemy,” the region’s governor Ole Senegubov wrote on Telegram, according to Reuters.
Russian forces hit a gas pipeline in Kharkiv, according to the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Officials warned residents not to cover windows with a damp cloth to protect themselves from smoke.
About 1.4 million people live in Kharkiv, which is located less than 30 miles from the Russian border. The city was one of the first targets of the bombing on Thursday morning. For days, residents crowded subway stations and bunkers at the sirens of air raids in the city.
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