ISLAMABAD, Feb 27 (Alliance News): Russian troops have entered Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, and fighting is raging on the city’s streets.
According to foreign media, the head of Kharkiv’s regional administration, Oleh Senhobov, said that Ukrainian forces were fighting Russian troops in the city and told citizens not to leave their homes.
Shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, Russian troops approached Kharkiv, about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) south of the Russian border.
But until Sunday, they remained in the suburbs without trying to enter the city, while other forces stepped up their aggression in Ukraine, but Ukrainian fighters resisted with full determination.
Videos posted on Ukrainian media and social networks show Russian vehicles advancing on Kharkiv and a burning car on the road.
Russia, meanwhile, claimed today that its troops had laid siege to the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson and the southeastern city of Berdynsk.
Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a statement issued by Russian news agencies that in the past 24 hours, the Russian Armed Forces have completely blocked the town of Kherson and Berdynsk.
Russia has launched a new wave of attacks targeting airports and fuel installations in Ukraine, which marks the next stage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The United States and the European Union responded by providing large quantities of weapons and ammunition to Ukraine, imposing heavy sanctions on Russia to further isolate it.
The bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a rally in southern Kiev, killing at least two people and wounding dozens more.
A statement from the office of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said another bomb had exploded at the Zuliani airport.
Vladimir Zelensky’s office also said Russian forces had blown up a gas pipeline in Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city.
The government has warned people to cover their windows with a damp cloth or gauze to protect themselves from smoke.
“We will fight as long as necessary to liberate our country,” he said.
Frightened men, women and children tried to stay indoors and underground, and the government maintained a 39-hour curfew to keep people off the streets.
More than 1.5 million Ukrainians have fled to Poland, Moldova and other neighboring countries, with the United Nations warning that the number could rise to 4 million if fighting escalates.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has not announced his final plans, but Western officials say he is determined to overthrow the Ukrainian government and replace it with his own.
Western media and officials claim he will redesign the map of Europe and restore Russia’s Cold War-era influence.
Fighting on the outskirts of the city shows that small Russian units are trying to clear the way for larger forces.
Small groups of Russian troops have been reported inside Kiev, but Britain and the United States have said most of the troops were 19 miles (30 kilometers) from the city center by Saturday afternoon.
Russia claims that its attack on Ukraine from the north, east and south is aimed not only at targeting military targets but also against bridges, schools and residential areas.
Ukraine’s health minister said yesterday that 198 people, including three children, had been killed and more than a thousand wounded in Europe’s largest ground war since World War II.
It is unclear whether the figures include both military and civilian casualties.
Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, said the army was fighting Russian subversive groups in Kiev.
Ukraine says about 200 Russian soldiers have been captured and thousands have been killed.