Russian airborne troops landed in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov on Wednesday, the Ukrainian army said, adding that there were immediate clashes.
“Russian airborne troops have landed in Kharkiv […] and attacked a local hospital,” the military said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app.
“There is an ongoing battle between the invaders and the Ukrainians.”
Kharkiv a strategic target
Kharkiv, a largely Russian-speaking city near the Russian border, has about 1.4 million inhabitants.
It has been a target for Russian troops since President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine last Thursday.
In Kherson on the Black Sea, where officials on Tuesday reported Russian checkpoints encircling the city, Russian troops took control of the train station and port overnight, Mayor Igor Kolykhayev was quoted as saying by local media.
In Mariupol, a port on the Sea of Azov, more than 100 people were injured in Russian fire on Tuesday, the city’s mayor Vadym Boychenko said by Ukrainian media.
Residential buildings destroyed in air raids
Russian airstrikes destroyed two residential buildings in Borodyanka, 50 kilometers from Kiev, on Tuesday, Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova said.
Japarova shared a video of the gray buildings partially in ruins, with apartments in flames. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry also said it feared an attack from Belarus last night.
“Belarusian troops have been placed on high alert and are concentrated in areas closest to the border with Ukraine,” the ministry said in a statement on Facebook.
‘Significant’ aircraft activity
During the daytime on Tuesday, Ukrainian intelligence noted “significant activity” from aircraft in the border area, and convoys of vehicles carrying food and ammunition were sighted there, the statement said.
Given these moves, Belarus could “probably support Russian invaders in the Russo-Ukrainian war in the future,” the ministry warned.
Missile attacks on military and civilian targets in Ukraine have been launched “systematically” from Belarusian territory since the start of the Russian invasion on Feb. 24, the ministry added.
© Agence France-Presse