| 21 February 2024, Wednesday |

Russian airborne troops land in Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv: Army

According to the Ukrainian army, Russian airborne forces landed in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Wednesday, sparking immediate fighting.

The army announced in a message on Telegram that “Russian airborne troops landed in Kharkiv… and targeted a local hospital.” “A battle between the invaders and the Ukrainians is occurring.”

Kharkiv, a predominantly Russian-speaking city on the Russian border, with a population of approximately 1.4 million people.

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin started an invasion of Ukraine last Thursday, it has been a target for Russian soldiers.

Russian military took control of the train station and the port overnight in Kherson, on the Black Sea, where officials had reported Russian checkpoints around the city on Tuesday, according to city mayor Igor Kolykhayev, who was quoted by local media.

More than a hundred persons were injured in Russian fire in Mariupol, a port on the Sea of Azov, according to the mayor of the city, Vadym Boychenko, as quoted by Ukrainian media.

Russian airstrikes destroyed two residential buildings in Borodyanka, 50 kilometers from Kyiv, according to Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister Emine Dzhaparova, who tweeted a video of the grey buildings partially in ruins, with apartments in flames.

Overnight, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense indicated it was concerned about an attack.

“Belarusian troops have been placed on high alert and are concentrated in locations near the Ukrainian border,” the ministry said in a Facebook statement.

Ukrainian intelligence detected “substantial activity” of aircraft in the border area during the day on Tuesday, and convoys of vehicles transporting food and weapons were seen there, according to the statement.

Belarus “may definitely back the Russian invaders in the Russian-Ukrainian war in the future” as a result of these moves, the ministry said.

Since the beginning of the Russian incursion on February 24, “missile assaults against military and civilian targets” in Ukraine have been “systematically” launched from Belarusian territory, according to the ministry.

  • AFP