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Russian forces seize two small cities in Ukraine: Report

Blasts were heard before dawn on Monday in the capital of Kyiv and in the major city of Kharkiv, Ukrainian authorities said.



Reuters
Reuters

By Reuters

Published: Mon 28 Feb 2022, 12:59 PM

Last updated: Mon 28 Feb 2022, 1:15 PM

Russian forces seized two small cities in southeastern Ukraine and the area around a nuclear power plant, the Interfax news agency reported on Monday, but ran into stiff resistance elsewhere as Moscow's diplomatic and economic isolation deepened.

Having launched the biggest assault on a European state since World War Two, President Vladimir Putin put Russia's nuclear deterrent on high alert on Sunday in the face of a barrage of Western-led reprisals for his attack on Ukraine.

Blasts were heard before dawn on Monday in the capital of Kyiv and in the major city of Kharkiv, Ukrainian authorities said. But, Russian ground forces' attempts to capture major urban centres had been repelled, they added.

Russia's defence ministry, however, said its forces had taken over the towns of Berdyansk and Enerhodar in Ukraine's southeastern Zaporizhzhya region as well as the area around the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, Interfax reported. The plant's operations continued normally, it said.

Ukraine denied that the nuclear plant had fallen into Russian hands, according to the news agency.

As Western governments mustered more support for sanctions against Moscow, diplomatic manoeuvring continued with the Vatican joining efforts to end the conflict by offering to "facilitate dialogue" between Russia and Ukraine. Read full story

Ukraine said negotiations with Moscow without preconditions would be held at the Belarusian-Ukrainian border. Russian news agency Tass cited an unidentified source as saying the talks would start on Monday morning.

US President Joe Biden will host a call with allies and partners on Monday to coordinate a united response, the White House said.

British defence minister Ben Wallace said that he does not expect Russian President Vladimir Putin to use nuclear weapons.

As missiles rained down, nearly 400,000 civilians, mainly women and children, have fled into neighbouring countries, a UN relief agency said.

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Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation” that it says is not designed to occupy territory but to destroy its southern neighbour's military capabilities and capture what it regards as dangerous nationalists.


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