The mayor of the strategically important southern city of Kherson confirmed it had fallen into enemy hands and that Russia planned to set up a “military administration” there.
That means Putin has now established a bridgehead from which his forces can cross the Dnieper River – the river that cuts Ukraine in half – and advance west and north to attack Kyiv from the second direction.
Despite a pledge from Putin last week that he would not target cities or civilians, the southern port city of Mariupol is being “flattened”, with water and electricity cut off and road links. iron closed.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak told Reuters a Ukrainian delegation had left for a second round of talks with Russian officials on a ceasefire.
Russian forces have yet to topple the government in Kyiv but thousands are believed dead or wounded and more than a million have fled Ukraine amid the biggest attack on a European country since in 1945.
Intelligence leaders say Putin has adopted the “classic encirclement” tactic. “Their mission is to destroy us,” said the city’s mayor, Vadym Boichenko. “We can’t even get the wounded out of the streets, from houses and apartments today, because the shelling hasn’t stopped.”
Last night, a powerful explosion was reported near the central train station in Kyiv, from which thousands of women and children were being evacuated, as a senior US official said Russia was becoming decisive more aggressive in targeting infrastructure in the capital. Ukraine also warned that Putin was planning to use his Black Sea fleet to launch a sea invasion in the southwest of the country.
Igor Kolykhayev, the mayor of Kherson, said in a Facebook post that “armed tourists” had attended a city executive meeting and that he had agreed to certain conditions, including curfew and pedestrians are only allowed to walk in groups of one or two. , to keep the city running.
Without mentioning the Russian military, he said: “I don’t make any promises to them. I have nothing to promise. I’m just asking not to shoot people. We have no Ukrainian armed forces in the city, only civilians and people who want to LIVE here! Let it be for now. The flag above us is Ukrainian. And for it to stay in place, these requirements will have to be met. I can’t come up with anything else.”
Massive shelling also caused widespread casualties in Ukraine’s second city, Kharkiv, as President Volodymyr Zelensky said more than 2,000 civilians had been killed since the invasion began. He also said 5,840 Russian servicemen were killed, while Russia said the number was less than 500.
But it was Mariupol, who stood in the way of Putin’s control of the coast from Crimea to the Donbas, who suffered yesterday’s worst terror.
After capturing Kherson, Putin needed to control Mariupol to link the city of Odessa with the occupied territory of the Crimean peninsula and cut off the sea route with Ukraine. Mariupol, an industrial port on the Sea of Azov, has been hit by relentless and indiscriminate artillery barrages that authorities say appear to be targeting civilian infrastructure and homes in an attempt to make the city a therefore cannot exist.
Officials said it equated to “real genocide”.
Deputy mayor of the city Serhiy Orlov said: “The Russian military is working with all their weapons here – artillery, multiple rocket launchers, planes, tactical missiles. They are trying to destroy the city”.
Mr Boichenko said there had been “huge destruction”.
“Our rail link was cut – they even went to the railway station and fired on our diesel locomotives so people couldn’t evacuate. So their mission is to destroy us. They have no intention of helping civilians.
“They have leveled us non-stop for 12 hours now. We can’t even get the wounded out of the streets, from houses and apartments today, because the shelling hasn’t stopped. ”
Russian spearheads pushing out of Crimea and Russian-occupied parts of the Donetsk region linked and cut the last road out of Mariupol on Tuesday.
Mariupol is strategically important, being on a highway that Russia would need to control if it wanted to open a land route from the Donbas to Crimea. Ukrainian forces were ready for a possible Russian attempt to open that roadway in eight years, and the city was heavily guarded.
An emergency session of the United Nations voted on a resolution condemning the invasion of Ukraine and calling on Russia to withdraw its troops. Five countries voted against the resolution: Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea, Syria and Russia.
Emmanuel Macron, President of France, said that the next few days will be “harder and more difficult” for Ukraine.
The United Nations General Assembly yesterday overwhelmingly rebuked Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, and demanded that Moscow cease fighting and withdraw its military forces – an act aimed at diplomatically isolating the country. Russia.
The resolution, supported by 141 of the council’s 193 members, was adopted in a rare emergency session called by the United Nations Security Council.
The content of the resolution shows Russia’s “aggression against Ukraine”.
The last time the Security Council convened an emergency session of the General Assembly was in 1982, according to the United Nations website.
Russia joined Belarus (which is the launch pad for Russian aggression forces), Eritrea, North Korea and Syria to vote against the resolution. Thirty-five other countries, including China, abstained.
While General Assembly resolutions are not binding, they carry political weight, with yesterday’s vote representing a symbolic victory for Ukraine and increasing international isolation. of Moscow. Even Russia’s traditional ally, Serbia, voted against it.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the panel that Russia was ready to increase the brutality of the attack and called on members to hold Moscow accountable for the violation of the law. international.
She cited videos of the Russian military transferring heavy weapons into Ukraine, including ball bombs and vacuum bombs, which are banned under international law.
Russia’s UN envoy, Vassily Nebenzia, denied Moscow was targeting civilians and accused Western governments of pressuring members of parliament to pass the resolution, the passage of which he said could spark further violence.
Moscow’s ground offensive in the north and east of the country remains stalled in the face of what analysts and Ukrainian government officials see as a supply challenge and unexpectedly stiff resistance. .
Ukrainian and American officials go on to describe Russian forces bogged down across the country.
A Russian convoy northwest of Kyiv for dozens of miles has struggled for days toward the capital, a senior US defense official said.
The convoy, seemingly a combination of supply and combat power, would be instrumental in any Russian strategy to capture Kyiv. Officials say the infrequent attacks by the Ukrainian army, low morale in the Russian army and faulty planning have slowed it down.
Meanwhile, Apple, Exxon, Boeing and others have been involved in an exodus of international companies from the Russian market that has left Moscow financially and diplomatically isolated.
Both the European Union and the United States also imposed new sanctions on Belarus for its supportive role in the invasion.
Amid calls to face sanctions, Russian businessman Roman Abramovich said he would sell Chelsea FC and raise money from the sale to help victims of the war.
Telegraph Media Group Limited 
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/train-station-hit-and-first-ukrainian-city-falls-to-invading-russian-forces-as-putin-accused-of-siege-tactics-41405246.html Train station attacked and first Ukrainian city fell to Russian invaders as Putin denounces siege tactics