Russian forces are besieging two strategic Ukrainian seaports Wednesday and pressing their bombardment of the country’s second-biggest city. But a huge armored column threatening Kyiv appears stalled outside the capital.
After seven days of Russian assault, the United Nations refugee agency announced that 1 million people have fled Ukraine since the invasion, the swiftest exodus of refugees this century. Moscow’s isolation is deepening, meanwhile. Most of the world lined up against Russia at the United Nations on Wednesday to demand it withdraw from Ukraine.
A second round of talks aimed at ending the fighting is expected Thursday between Ukraine and Russia.
Ukrainian authorities had previously disputed reports that Russia had taken control of Kherson, the port city in southern Ukraine. A spokesperson for the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense told CNN that “the city is not captured totally, some parts are under our control.”
The spokesperson added that battles are ongoing. However, a Russian official said the city is under Russian soldiers' “complete control.” He said that the city’s civilian infrastructure, essential facilities and transport are operating as usual and that there are no shortages of food or essential goods.
A senior U.S. defense official said Wednesday that they have seen claims that the Russians have taken Kherson, but the outcome had not been totally confirmed.
“Our view is that Kherson is very much a contested city at this point,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to make military assessments.