Defense

Big cities targeted by Russia remain in Ukrainian control despite onslaught

Key Points
  • Ukraine retains control of capital Kyiv and its second-biggest city, Kharkiv, despite heavy fighting, according to the latest intelligence update from the U.K. Defence Ministry.
  • The United States, European Union and even Germany have committed to new weapons shipments to Ukraine as the country's defenders have stubbornly held out against the Russian onslaught.
Ukrainian soldiers in the small town of Severodonetsk, Donetsk Region on February 27, 2022.
Anatolii Stepanov | AFP | Getty Images

More than four days into Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the smaller country's defenders continue to frustrate Russian attempts on its major cities.

"Russian forces are continuing to advance into Ukraine from multiple axis but are continuing to be met with stiff resistance from the Ukrainian Armed Forces," the U.K. Defence Ministry said.

Ukraine retains control of capital Kyiv and its second-biggest city, Kharkiv, despite heavy fighting, according to the latest intelligence update from the U.K. Defence Ministry.

We have shown that we know how to protect our home from uninvited guests.
Alexander Syrsky
Ukraine general commanding defense of Kyiv

Alexander Syrsky, the Ukrainian general in command of Kyiv's defense, said in a Facebook post that the "situation is under control" in the capital.

"All attempts by the Russian Occupation Forces to achieve their goal failed. Convoys of occupiers' equipment were destroyed," he said, according to an NBC News translation.

"The enemy suffered significant personnel losses. Russian troops are demoralized and exhausted," Syrsky said. "We have shown that we know how to protect our home from uninvited guests."

Individual military accounts are difficult to confirm as much of Ukraine remains inaccessible and the situation on the ground shifts constantly.

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Heavy fighting was taking place around Kharkiv, according to the U.K. Defence Ministry, Kharkiv's regional governor, and Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Ukrainian defenders also maintain their hold on Kherson, a third major city targeted by Moscow planners, a senior U.S. Defense official said Sunday on condition of anonymity.

Russian advances were being slowed by "fuel and logistics shortages, especially in Kharkiv, but also on the advance to Kyiv," the Defense official said.

Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine last week as the UN Security Council met in emergency session to head off war using diplomatic means.

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Since then, the United States, European Union and even Germany have committed to new weapons shipments to Ukraine as the country's defenders have stubbornly held out against the Russian onslaught.

New economic measures against Russia, from Western corporations as well as governments, pile up by the day.

As U.S. intelligence predicted the invasion in the weeks prior to Putin ordering it, the Russian president repeatedly demanded guarantees that Ukraine never be allowed to join NATO.

"Mr. Putin says he doesn't want a strong NATO on his western flank," said U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in a statement from the Pentagon on Sunday night ET. "He's getting exactly that."

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