Russian forces have reportedly taken a small Ukrainian town in the south of the country.
Berdyansk, is a port city with a naval base on the northern coast of the Sea of Azov, in south-east Ukraine is home to 100,000 people. It is located close to the Crimea peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, and from which it launched one of several invasion forces.
The acting mayor of the town, Oleksandr Svidlo, confirmed on Facebook that Russian forces came into the town and took control on Sunday night.
‘A few hours ago, you and I witnessed how heavy military equipment and armed soldiers entered the city and began advancing throughout our hometown. As soon as I learned about that, I tried to inform all the residents of the city so that you have the opportunity to hide in shelters.
Some time ago, armed soldiers entered the executive committee building and introduced themselves as soldiers of the Russian army, they informed us that all administrative buildings were under their control and that they were taking control of the executive committee building,’ Svidlo wrote in a posting online.
He explained how officials had been asked to continue working but had decided to leave the town hall offices.
‘Under the control of armed men, I consider this proposal unacceptable, so we, as all members of the operational headquarters, left the building of the executive committee,’ Svidlo explained.
‘Today Berdyansk was on the line of fire. I don’t know what tomorrow will be like, but I think tonight will be very, very hard,’ he added.
Earlier on Sunday, a Russian state-owned news agency said Russian troops had also ‘completely blocked’ the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson and taken over the towns of Henichesk and an airport near Kherson.