Ukraine: Kherson resident reacts to Russian takeover
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Last week, the Russian President launched a full-scale invasion of the former Soviet nation but his attempts to capture the country have not yet succeeded. However, reports have no surfaced that the Ukrainian city of Kherson has now fallen into Russian hands.
Michael Schwirtz, from the New York Times, tweeted: “Kherson has fallen to the Russian military, becoming the first major Ukrainian city to come under Russian control since the invasion last week.
“The mayor, Igor Kolykhaev, told me he met today with the Russian commander who plans to set up a military administration.”
The Mayor of Kherson said Russian troops were in the streets and had forced their way into the city council building.
Ukraine’s government had earlier played down reports that Kherson had fallen into Russian hands, which would be the first sizeable city to do so since the invasion began last week.
Russian military take hold of first Ukrainian city (Image: Getty)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (Image: Getty)
Kolykhayev urged Russian soldiers not to shoot at civilians and publicly called on civilians to walk through the streets only in daylight and in ones and twos.
He said: “We do not have the Armed Forces in the city, only civilians and people who want to LIVE here!”
Since Putin launched his invasion, nearly 836,000 people have fled Ukraine.
On Wednesday, the UN General Assembly voted in favour of condemning Russia’s actions.
Russia launched its invasion last week (Image: PA)
According to CNN, more than 2,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed during Russia’s invasion.
Kyiv’s State Emergency Service said: “More than 2,000 Ukrainians died, not counting our defenders.”
However, the United Nations’ reported civilian death toll is far lower, although they cautioned the real toll is likely to be “much higher”.
In a statement on Tuesday, the UN office said: “Most of these casualties were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, and air strikes.
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Russia v Ukraine (Image: Express)
“These are only the casualties we were able to cross-check, and the real toll is likely to be much higher.”
On Tuesday, reports suggested Russian troops have begun deserting Putin’s invasion and headed back to Moscow “on foot”.
On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced any prisoners with combat experience will be released from jail and help defend Ukraine from Russia’s invasion.
He said: “Under martial law, Ukrainians with real combat experience will be released from custody and will be able to compensate for their guilt in the hottest spots of the conflict.
Ukrainians have been fighting back (Image: Getty)
“We have taken a decision which is not easy from the moral point of view, but which is useful from the point of view of our defences.
“The key is now defence.”
Mr Zelensky also appealed to the EU, requesting the bloc allow Ukraine to join immediately in the face of Russian aggression.
In his video address, he continued: “We appeal to the European Union for the immediate accession of Ukraine via a new special procedure.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (Image: Getty)
“Our goal is to be together with all Europeans and, most importantly, to be on an equal footing.
“I’m sure it’s fair.
“I’m sure it’s possible.”
More to follow…