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Official says ‘battle continues’ in key city, rebuffing Russian claim of control

Russia expanded its assault on key cities in Ukraine on March 2, marking one week since the deadly attacks began. (Video: Alexa Juliana Ard/The Washington Post)
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Russian forces Wednesday continued their deadly assault in key Ukrainian areas, prompting some local leaders to warn that their cities were near the breaking point.

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In Kherson — a key port city where Russian state media said Russian forces had taken control — the mayor noted that armed troops visited his office and that they had reached an agreement about civilian movement in the city. Still, he wrote on Facebook, “the flag above us is Ukrainian.” A Ukrainian armed forces spokesman told The Washington Post, “The battle continues.”

Earlier, videos from Kherson showed defiant people waving blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flags in front of Russian troops.

As fighting continued, the United Nations General Assembly voted 141 to 5, with 35 abstentions, in favor of a resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The resolution demands that Russia “immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine” and withdraw its military forces.

Here’s what to know

  • President Biden added to the unprecedented — and growing — battery of political and economic embargoes against Moscow, announcing that the United States would close its airspace to Russian airlines.
  • Russia’s Defense Ministry said 498 service members have died and more than 1,500 have been wounded in the fighting. It’s the first time Russian officials have conceded the conflict’s high toll on Russian lives — though there is no way to verify the count.
  • More than 900,000 Ukrainians have fled since the start of the invasion, the United Nations reported, marking the largest exodus in Europe since the Balkan wars of the 1990s. The U.N. had recorded 227 civilian deaths Wednesday, including 15 children, and warned the true numbers were likely much higher.
  • China asked Russia to delay its Ukrainian invasion until after the Olympics, according to a Western intelligence report.