MOSCOW (AFP) - The Russian army claimed on Wednesday (March 2) it had taken control of the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson as Moscow's invasion of the pro-Western country entered its seventh day.
"The Russian divisions of the armed forces have taken the regional centre of Kherson under full control," defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in televised remarks.
He claimed that public services and transport were operating as usual.
"The city is not experiencing shortages of food and essential goods," he added.
He said talks were under way between the Russian army and local authorities on maintaining order, protecting the population and keeping public services functioning.
Kherson's mayor Igor Nikolayev said in a post on Facebook: "We are still Ukraine. Still firm."
Apparently contradicting the Russian army's claims, he said he needed to find a way to "collect the (bodies of the) dead" and "restore electricity, gas, water and heating where they are damaged".
"But I warn you right away: to complete these tasks today means to perform a miracle," he added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin last Thursday ordered troops to invade pro-Western Ukraine to "de-militarise" and "denazify" the country.
All in all, the Russian military damaged more than 1,500 military facilities in Ukraine, Konashenkov said on Wednesday, adding that 58 planes, 46 drones and 472 tanks and other armoured vehicles had been destroyed.