Russia Troops Seize Control Of Kherson

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Russian troops have seized Kherson, the first major Ukrainian city to fall in a devastating week-old war that has already created one million refugees.

The capture of the Black Sea city of 290,000 people, which just last year hosted NATO-supported war games, appeared a significant boost for Moscow as it readied for potential ceasefire talks on Thursday.

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Russian “occupiers” were in “all parts” of Kherson, Ukrainian regional official Gennady Lakhuta conceded late on Wednesday.

After a three-day siege that left Kherson short of food and medicine, and struggling to collect and bury its dead, the town’s mayor also announced he was in talks with “armed guests.”

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He had “made no promises” to the invading forces, but agreed to a night curfew and restrictions on car traffic.

“So far so good. The flag flying above us is Ukrainian. And for it to stay that way, these requirements must be met,” he said in a Facebook post.

Stalled elsewhere, Russia continues to make significant advances on the southern front, with troops breaking through in Kherson — opening the path west and north — and besieging the larger strategically vital port city of Mariupol.

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There, mayor Vadym Boychenko reported hours of punishing bombardments that trapped civilians in a city now without light, water or heating as temperatures hover around freezing.

“Today was the hardest, cruellest of the seven days of this war,” he said. “Today they just wanted to destroy us all.”

Moscow’s victory in Kherson comes one week after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s army marched into Ukraine from the north, east and south, training a vast arsenal of weaponry at Ukrainian cities.

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Russian forces have sporadically bombarded civilian targets across the country, including the capital Kyiv and the majority Russian-speaking second city of Kharkiv, which is now coming under more intense attack.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called the barrage of missiles, shells and rockets a “war crime” and the International Criminal Court has confirmed an investigation is underway.

Amid violence that has kindled memories of Europe’s blood-soaked past, one million Ukrainians have now fled across the border into neighbouring Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova, according to the UN refugee agency’s rapidly rising tally.

“We left everything there as they came and ruined our lives,” refugee Svitlana Mostepanenko told AFP in Prague.

“They’re bombing even civilian houses where there are kids, small kids, children, they die now.”

 

Channelstv

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