NewsWorldRussia says its troops advancing, Ukraine vows to fight on

Russia says its troops advancing, Ukraine vows to fight on

Ukrainian forces battled Russian troops pushing into the city of Kharkiv on Sunday on the fourth day of an invasion that has shaken Europe’s long-standing security architecture and pushed Germany to spend more on defense.

The invasion of Ukraine from three sides ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin is the biggest assault on a European state since World War Two.

The attack, which Russia calls a special operation, has so far failed to topple the government in Kyiv or take major cities, but has driven hundreds of thousands of refugees, mainly women and children, into neighboring countries.

Russian soldiers and armored vehicles entered the northeastern city of Kharkiv and firing and explosions could be heard, witnesses said. A burning tank was visible in a video posted by the government.

Ukraine’s fighters repelled the attack, according to authorities in the city, the country’s second largest with a population of about 1.4 million people.

Reuters was unable to immediately corroborate the information.

The Russian troops blew up a natural gas pipeline in Kharkiv before daybreak, a Ukrainian state agency said, sending a burning cloud up into the darkness.

Both Ukraine’s gas pipeline operator and Kremlin-controlled energy giant Gazprom said the transit of Russian gas via Ukraine, vital for Europe’s energy needs, was unaffected.

Ukraine’s Western allies ratcheted up their response to Russia’s land, sea and air invasion with an almost blanket ban on Russian airlines using European airspace.

Ukrainian forces were also holding off Russian troops advancing on the capital Kyiv, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said. But shelling hit civilian infrastructure and targets including ambulances, he said.

(Reuters)

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