Russia says Kherson has fallen to Moscow; Ukrainian military denies claim

A member of the Ukrainian Emergency Service looks at the City Hall building in the central square following shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Pavel Dorogoy)
A member of the Ukrainian Emergency Service looks at the City Hall building in the central square following shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine, March 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Pavel Dorogoy)

A Russian official says troops have taken the Ukrainian port city of Kherson — a claim that the Ukrainian military denies.

The city is under Russian soldiers’ “complete control,” Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov says Wednesday.

He says that the city’s civilian infrastructure, essential facilities and transport are operating as usual and that there are no shortages of food or essential goods.

Konashenkov says talks between the Russian commanders, city administrations and regional authorities on how to maintain order in the city were underway Wednesday. The claims could not be immediately verified.

A senior US defense official says Wednesday that they have seen claims that the Russians have taken Kherson, but that the Ukrainian military is rejecting that claim.

“Our view is that Kherson is very much a contested city at this point,” says the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to make military assessments.

Kherson mayor Igor Kolykhaev told The New York Times that the city had fallen. But he now appears on the BBC channel, informing viewers that the city has yet to be fully conquered by Moscow.

A Russian armored personnel carrier burns amid damaged and abandoned light utility vehicles after fighting in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on February 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Marienko Andrew)

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