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Ukraine conflict: Russian attacks on Ukrainian cities continue

Russia attacked Ukrainian cities on the seventh day of its invasion with fighting continuing between the two military forces in towns northwest of the capital, Kyiv.

Over the last 24 hours Russian forces appear to have secured the centre of Kherson in southern Crimea, potentially leading to the fall of the first major Ukrainian city.

Reports from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence claim that Russia had begun a large-scale airborne operation to capture Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, but this could not be confirmed by Janes.

Social media imagery and video indicate Russia has deployed Rosguard paramilitary forces to Kherson, likely intended to maintain order and put down civilian resistance. Russian soldiers in the area were reported by locals to be looting shops, supporting assessments that Russia's logistics and supply chain are failing to support the invasion.

Russian forces appear to be encircling the southeast city of Mariupol. Some Ukrainian forces in the area are reporting they have been cut off from the rest of Ukraine.

Ukrainian civilians in several towns are protesting against the Russian occupation or are building barricades to stop Russian forces from entering.

Large quantities of Russian military equipment continue to be found abandoned by Ukrainian civilians and soldiers. It is unclear why they have been abandoned, but logistics failures and low morale among Russian troops are suspected to be causes.

Washington is providing daily updates of its assessment of Russia's actions inside Ukraine. A senior US defence official said these logistics failures are likely to be the cause of the “stalled” 40-mile (64 km) Russian military convoy outside Kyiv.

“We still assess that they're experiencing logistical and sustainment issues … both in terms of fuel and food,” the official said on 2 March.

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