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Ukraine army secures Kharkiv, expelling Russian troops, governor says

A man walks by a destroyed Russian military multiple rocket launcher vehicle on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, Feb. 25, 2022. (Vadim Ghirda/AP)
A man walks by a destroyed Russian military multiple rocket launcher vehicle on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, Feb. 25, 2022. (Vadim Ghirda/AP)

Ukrainian forces secured full control of Kharkiv on Sunday following street fighting with Russian troops in the country’s second biggest city, the local governor says.

“Kharkiv is fully under our control,” the head of the regional administration, Oleg Sinegubov, says on the messaging app Telegram, adding that the army was expelling Russian forces during a “clean-up” operation.

Earlier today he had said that Russian forces’ light vehicles broke into the city, with fighting breaking out in the streets.

An AFP correspondent in the city heard machine gun fire and explosions.

Sinegubov says that Russian troops were “absolutely demoralized.”

He says Russian forces were abandoning their vehicles “in the middle of the road” and groups of five were surrendering to the Ukrainian army.

“As soon as they see at least one representative of the armed forces, they surrender,” Sinegubov says.

He said that “dozens” of Russian soldiers have already surrendered.

“The captured Russian fighters speak of complete exhaustion and demoralization, they have no connection with the central command, they do not understand and do not know what they do next,” the Kharkiv governor says.

“Since the beginning of the attack on Ukraine, they have not received food and water,” he adds.

“Leaving the positions, Russian fighters are trying to hide among the civilian population, asking people for clothes and food.”

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