Ukraine army retakes Kharkiv, expels Russian troops: Regional governor | World News

The Ukraine army on Sunday took back full control of Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city, hours after Russian troops entered the northeastern city that was soon rocked by machine gun firing and explosions.

“Control over Kharkiv is completely ours! The Armed Forces of Ukraine, National Police, Teroborona, a complete cleaning of the city from the enemy is happening,” regional governor Oleh Sinegubov shared the update in a Facebook post.

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Governor Sinegubov had earlier said, “The Russian enemy’s light vehicles broke into the city of Kharkiv… The Ukrainian armed forces are eliminating the enemy.”

Images and videos shared online showed Kharkiv burning as fighting erupted amid Russian troops patrolling the streets. The wreckage of a Russian armoured vehicle smouldered in one street and several others were seen abandoned. Troops were defending the city of 1.8 million, Bloomberg quoted Ukrainian military authorities as saying.

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“This is terror, they are going to bomb our Ukrainian cities even more,” said Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. “They lied that they wouldn’t touch civilians. They consciously chose tactics to destroy people and everything that makes people’s life just normal,” he added.

Meanwhile, progress towards any kind of peace talks remained stalled as Ukraine rejected Russia’s offer to hold talks in Belarus. Ukraine’s president suggested other locations, saying his country was unwilling to meet in a country that served as a staging ground for the invasion.

Until this morning, Russia’s troops had remained on the outskirts of Kharkiv, a city of 1.4 million about 20km (12.4 miles) south of the border with Russia, while other forces rolled past to press the offensive deeper into Ukraine.

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Much of Europe has closed its airspace to Russia, and offers of military assistance continue to flow in for Ukraine. India, too, is operating special flights through alternative routes to bring back up to 20,000 Indian nationals who are stranded in Ukraine.