RUSSIAN INVASION: Interfax Says Russian Forces Seize Two Cities In Ukraine.
According to the Interfax news agency, Russian soldiers took two small settlements in southeastern Ukraine and the territory surrounding a nuclear power plant on Monday, but ran into tough opposition elsewhere as Moscow’s diplomatic and economic isolation worsened.
A Ukrainian team arrived at the border with Russian ally Belarus for ceasefire negotiations with Russian representatives after four days of combat and a Russian push that went more slowly than some expected, according to the Ukrainian president. It was unclear whether or not any progress could be made.
In the face of a torrent of Western-led retaliation, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the largest attack on a European state since World War Two on Thursday, and put Russia’s nuclear deterrent on high alert on Sunday.
Blasts were reported early Monday in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, and Kharkiv, a significant eastern city, according to Ukrainian police. They said that Russian ground troops’ attempts to take key cities had been rebuffed.
The towns of Berdyansk and Enerhodar in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhya region, as well as the territory around the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power station, were taken over by Russian soldiers, according to Interfax.
The plant’s activities were unaffected, according to the statement.
According to the news agency, Ukraine denied that the nuclear reactor had come into Russian control.
On Monday, Pavlo Kyrylenko, the chairman of the Donetsk regional administration, stated on television that combat continued throughout the night surrounding the Ukrainian coastal city of Mariupol.
He didn’t specify whether Russian forces had won or lost terrain, and he didn’t give any estimates for casualties.
Since Thursday, at least 102 people have been murdered in Ukraine, with another 304 injured, according to UN human rights director Michelle Bachelet, but the true count is likely to be “considerably higher.”
A senior U.S. defence official said Russia had fired more than 350 missiles at Ukrainian targets since Thursday, some hitting civilian infrastructure.
“It appears that they are adopting a siege mentality, which any student of military tactics and strategy will tell you, when you adopt siege tactics, it increases the likelihood of collateral damage,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.