Russia claims it has taken over Ukrainian city of Kherson

Russia says its soldiers have captured the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson on day seven of its invasion.

It would be the largest city in the country to be captured by Vladimir Putin’s forces so far.

Ukraine’s south-eastern port of Mariupol was under constant shelling from Russia and has been left without electricity and unable to evacuate the injured.

‘We are fighting, we are not ceasing to defend our motherland,’ Mariupol mayor Vadym Boichenko said live on Ukrainian TV.

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Meanwhile Kherson, on the Black Sea, was completely surrounded by invading forces, who took control of the railway station and port overnight.

‘The fighting is going on now, and the occupation of our city is under way,’ Mayor Igor Kolykhayev told local radio, according to BBC Russia.

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Screenshots from a webcam in the city showing Russian military vehicles parked on Kherson’s main square were shared by CNN.

Russia’s defence ministry said its troops joined forces with pro-Moscow rebel fighters from eastern Ukraine along the Azov Sea coast.

Defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said: ‘The Russian divisions of the armed forces have taken the regional center of Kherson under full control.’

He added: ‘Civil infrastructure, life support facilities for the population and urban transport operate on a daily basis. The city does not experience shortages of food and essential goods.’

Kherson has a population of around 280,000 and lies north of the Crimea peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014.

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