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PICS: Heavy Fighting as Russian Forces Battle for Control of Ukraine’s Second City

( Breitbart )

Ukrainian and Russian forces have engaged in street fighting in the city of Kharkiv (Kharkov) after an “intensive” artillery battle overnight.

Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv is known to many history buffs as the scene of a series of fierce battles between the Red Army and the German armed forces and Waffen SS during the Second World War, marked by large-scale tank clashes and bloody house-to-house fighting.

While much media attention has focused on the fighting near the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv (Kiev) until now, Kharkiv — a key city just south of the Russian border and to the north-west of the separatist people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk — has also seen its share of fighting, and appeared to be the scene of the war’s most significant clashes as of Sunday morning.

Content warning – graphic image:

The body of a Russian serviceman lies near destroyed Russian military vehicles on the roadside on the outskirts of Kharkiv on February 26th, 2022, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by SERGEY BOBOK/AFP via Getty Images)

Oleh Sinegubov, the regional governor, confirmed that the “Russian enemy” had “broken into Kharkiv, including the city centre” on Sunday morning.

“Ukraine’s armed forces are destroying the enemy,” Sinegubov asserted confidently, asking the city’s civilian population — numbering close one and a half million, at least prior to the invasion — to remain indoors.

Content warning – graphic image:

The body of a serviceman is coated in snow as a man takes photos of a destroyed Russian military multiple rocket launcher vehicle on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 25th, 2022. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Multiple videos are circulating on social media which purport to show Ukrainian forces engaging in firefights, Russian forces being ambushed near a playground, Russian tanks and vehicles being destroyed, and Ukrainian or Russian personnel being taken prisoner in the city — but all such footage remains very difficult to verify in the current information environment.

A Defence Intelligence update shared by the British government suggests that Russian forces moved into Kharkiv after “Intensive exchanges of rocket artillery overnight.”

The Russian government, for its part, claims that “the 302nd anti-aircraft missile regiment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, equipped with Buk M-1 air defence systems, voluntarily laid down their arms and surrendered” to their forces in the region, resulting in 471 prisoners being taken.

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