The Ukrainian cities of Kharkiv, Chernihiv and Mariupol “remain in Ukrainian hands,” despite heavy shelling by Russian forces, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) said Thursday.
“Some Russian forces have entered the city of Kherson, but the military situation remains unclear,” the MoD said in its latest intelligence update.
However, city mayor Ihor Kolykhaiev said the Ukrainian military is no longer present in Kherson in a statement posted Wednesday on Facebook.
Residents must now carry out the instructions of “armed people who came to the city’s administration,” said Kolykhaiev, indicating that the city has now fallen under Russian control.
According to the MoD’s update, the main body of a large Russian column advancing on Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, remains more than 30 kilometers (about 18 miles) from the center of the city.
It has made “little discernible progress in over three days” having been “delayed by staunch Ukrainian resistance, mechanical breakdown and congestion," said the MoD.
“The Russian defence ministry has been forced to admit that 498 Russian soldiers have already been killed and 1,597 wounded in Putin’s war,” continued the update.
“The actual number of those killed and wounded will almost certainly be considerably higher and will continue to rise.”