.
.
.
.
Russia Ukraine conflict

Russian forces cut off Ukraine’s Chernihiv city, mayor says

Published: Updated:

Ukrainian authorities said on Friday Russian forces had effectively surrounded the northern city of Chernihiv and were bombarding areas where residents were stuck without electricity, heating and water.

Chernihiv’s mayor, Vladyslav Atroshenko, said bombing had destroyed a bridge linking the city to Ukraine’s capital to the south, severing the main route for humanitarian aid and the evacuation of wounded people.

Reuters could not confirm the accounts from Chernihiv, which lies near the border with Belarus.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Russia’s defense ministry earlier said its forces had “blocked” Ukrainian cities, including Chernihiv, to tie down the Ukrainian military while Russia focused on taking control of the eastern Donbas region.

“[We are] being essentially completely surrounded and having a humanitarian catastrophe,” Atroshenko said on television.

“People are without water, without heat, without electricity... people realize that the worst is yet to come.”

Moscow has regularly denied targeting civilians since it invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what it calls a “special military operation.”

The mayor said bombing had destroyed more than half of the private homes on the outskirts of the city, which had a population of around 285,000 before the conflict and is famous for its historical buildings and ancient churches.

City authorities had resorted to delivering water to districts in whatever containers they could find, while residents had to cook on open fires outside their homes, Atroshenko added. “The city is completely destroyed,” he said.

Viacheslav Chaus, governor of the surrounding Chernihiv region, said the city was under fire from Russian artillery and war planes. It had been “operationally surrounded by the enemy,” he said on national television.

Authorities in Kyiv said they hoped to agree a humanitarian corridor for Chernihiv for Saturday that would allow civilians to evacuate and aid to reach the city safely, but warned that negotiations with Russia were difficult.

Similar efforts to help thousands of residents trapped for weeks in the encircled city of Mariupol in the south have mostly failed. Russia and Ukraine blame each other for not observing temporary ceasefire agreements.

Read more:

Biden ‘diverting attention’ from US chemical, biological weapons program: Kremlin

Officials say 300 feared dead in Russian strike on Mariupol theater

Putin compares attacks on Russian culture to Nazi book burnings

Top Content Trending