• Eastern city of Kharkiv comes under renewed heavy shelling
  • Moscow says it has seized Kherson, mayor says troops on the streets
  • UN votes overwhelmingly to censor Russian invasion
  • Total refugees exceed one million – UNHCR

KYIV/KHARKIV, Ukraine, March 3 (Reuters) – Russia’s advance on Kiev has made little progress and Ukrainian forces are keeping Kharkiv and several other towns under attack, British military intelligence said on Thursday. , a day after Moscow claimed to have captured the black city. Seaport of Kherson.

Russian forces have yet to overthrow the government in Kiev, but thousands are believed to have been killed or injured and more than a million people have fled Ukraine in the week since President Vladimir Putin ordered the biggest attack on a European state since 1945.

“The main body of the large Russian column advancing on Kiev remains more than 30 km (19 miles) from the center of the city, having been delayed by fierce Ukrainian resistance, mechanical breakdowns and traffic jams,” the British ministry said. of Defense in an intelligence update.

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“The column made little discernible progress in more than three days,” he said. “Despite heavy Russian shelling, the cities of Kharkiv, Chernihiv and Mariupol remain in Ukrainian hands.”

In Borodyanka, a town 58 km (36 miles) northwest of Kiev, a resident breathlessly recounted his encounter with the enemy, as Reuters Television footage showed shell-damaged buildings, fires in the streets and destroyed military vehicles.

“They (the Russian soldiers) started shooting from their BMP (military vehicle), towards the park in front of the post office in the center of Borodyanka,” said a Ukrainian, who did not give his name.

“Then those bastards started the tank and started shooting at the Fora (supermarket) which was already on fire. It caught fire again.”

DAM OF SANCTIONS

Russia’s attack has led to a deluge of international sanctions that threaten global economic recovery from the COVID pandemic, and stoked fears of a wider conflict as Western countries send in weapons to aid Ukraine’s military .

The capture of Kherson, strategically located at the mouth of the Dnipro, would be the first major urban center to fall since Moscow launched its invasion on February 24.

Kherson Mayor Igor Kolykhayev said Wednesday evening that Russian troops were on the streets and entered the council building.

“I made no promises to them…I just asked them not to shoot people,” he said in a statement.

The US State Department has called on Putin and the Russian government to “immediately stop this bloodshed” and withdraw their forces from Ukraine. He also accused Moscow of launching an “all-out war on media freedom and truth” by blocking independent media and social media to prevent Russians from hearing news of the invasion of Ukraine.

A second round of talks between Russian and Ukrainian officials on a ceasefire was expected after the first talks ended on Monday without an agreement.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation” that is not designed to occupy territory but to destroy its neighbor’s military capabilities and capture what it considers dangerous nationalists.

He denies targeting civilians although there have been numerous reports of civilian casualties and shelling of residential areas.

Shelling in Kharkiv, a city of 1.5 million people, has left a wasteland of crumbling buildings and debris in its center.

Russian forces have captured the town of Balakliya near the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, Interfax news agency reported Thursday citing the Russian Defense Ministry.

He also reported a strike on a radio and TV center in Kyiv, where Russian missiles hit a TV tower earlier this week.

Russian shelling killed six adults and two children in the town of Izyum, about 120 km (75 miles) southeast of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s parliament has said. Reuters was unable to verify either party’s claims.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights confirmed the death of 227 civilians and 525 injured during the conflict as of midnight March 1, warning that the true toll would be much higher due to reporting delays.

An explosion also shook the Kiev train station where thousands of women and children were being evacuated. The blast was caused by the wreckage of a downed Russian cruise missile, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said, and no casualties were immediately reported.

An investigation into possible war crimes will be immediately opened by the International Criminal Court, following requests from 39 of the Court’s member states, an unprecedented number. Read more

INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE

A UN resolution reprimanding Moscow was backed by 141 of the 193 members of the assembly, a symbolic victory for Ukraine that increases Moscow’s international isolation. Read more

“There is more at stake than the conflict in Ukraine itself. It is a threat to the security of Europe and to the entire rules-based order,” the secretary of state said. American Antony Blinken.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was still seeking the “demilitarization” of Ukraine and that there should be a list of specific weapons that could never be deployed on Ukrainian territory. Moscow opposes Kiev joining NATO.

Oil and commodity prices soared on Thursday in a grim omen for global inflation. Read more

Japanese automakers, including Toyota, have been forced to halt production in Russia as sanctions have scrambled logistics and cut supply chains. Read more

Russia’s central bank, itself under sanctions, doubled interest rates to 20% and rating agencies Fitch and Moody’s downgraded Russia’s sovereign credit rating to junk status. [nL1N2V50QW] Read more

At least five billionaire-owned superyachts were anchored or sailing in the Maldives, an Indian Ocean island nation that does not have an extradition treaty with the United States, the data shows. Read more

Russian businessman Roman Abramovich has said he will sell London’s Chelsea Football Club and donate money to help victims of war in Ukraine. Read more

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Reporting by Pavel Polityuk, Natalia Zinets and Aleksandar Vasovic in Ukraine, David Ljunggren in Ottawa and other Reuters bureaus; written by Costas Pitas, Stephen Coates and Simon Cameron-Moore; Editing by Lincoln Feast

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