Russia takes city of Kherson as UN estimates 750+ civilians dead

Thousands of Ukrainians prepared to block Russian forces from reaching the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station.

 Ukrainian law enforcement officers take part in special tactical training exercises held by police, the National Guard and security services at the Kalanchak training ground in the Kherson region, Ukraine, February 12, 2022.  (photo credit: REUTERS/IRAKLI GEDENIDZE)
Ukrainian law enforcement officers take part in special tactical training exercises held by police, the National Guard and security services at the Kalanchak training ground in the Kherson region, Ukraine, February 12, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/IRAKLI GEDENIDZE)

Russian forces took the city of Kherson on Wednesday night. The city's mayor, Igor Kolykhaev, said he met today with the Russian commander who plans to set up a military administration.

There was a large explosion at a Kyiv train station on Wednesday evening, according to Ukrainian media. The reports later stated that the rocket was aimed at the Ministry of Defense building but was shot down, and the debris hit the train station.

As attacks on civilian targets seem to increase, the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine said that as of midnight on March 1, it has recorded 752 civilian casualties in Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion.

Thousands of Ukrainians worked throughout the day to form a barricade to hold back Russian forces nearing Enerhodar, where Europe's largest nuclear power plant is located, according to the city's mayor.

Similar incidents of civilians blocking Russian forces and vehicles have been reported in multiple locations in recent days.

The Russians shelled Borodyanka, which is on the way to Kyiv, and Voznesensk in the south of Ukraine. Additional air raids were heard in cities all across Ukraine, according to EuroMaidan.

According to Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Valery Zaluzhny, the Ukrainian military took back the city of Makariv near Kyiv on Wednesday evening.

 A sign in Ukrainian which reads ?Mine? is seen at a road block as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine March 2, 2022. (credit: Carlos Barria/Reuters) A sign in Ukrainian which reads ?Mine? is seen at a road block as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine March 2, 2022. (credit: Carlos Barria/Reuters)

On Wednesday night, four Russian jet fighters violated Sweden's skies, according to Ukrainian media.

Anton Herashchenko, an advisor to the Ukrainian Internal Affairs Ministry, warned that the fighting near the nuclear power plant in Enerhodar could cause damage to equipment necessary for the safety of the plant. He added that this could cause an incident like the one at Chernobyl or at Fukushima.

"Radiation does not know nationalities," wrote Herashchenko on Facebook, calling on Russian forces to bypass the area.

Russians attacked a checkpoint in Korosten, and four people were killed in the attack, according to Pravda.

The Russian Defense Ministry had claimed in recent days to have captured the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in Enerhodar, although an update on Wednesday from the IAEA stated only that Russian forces had taken control of the territory around the plant and that the power plant was still under the control of the Ukrainian national operator.

Over 2,000 Ukrainians had been killed in the invasion as of Wednesday, according to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine. A statement from the Russian Defense Ministry estimated the number at 2,870. The statement also claimed that 498 Russians have died in the war compared to the estimate of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces which put that number at 5,710.

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed on Wednesday that Russian forces managed to take control of the Ukrainian city of Kherson, according to TASS. The Defense Ministry added that Russian forces have destroyed 1,502 Ukrainian military facilities and systems.

An intelligence update by the UK Defense Ministry on Wednesday morning stated that while Russian forces had reportedly moved into Kherson, overall gains across the country have been limited in the past 24 hours.

An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Wednesday Russia had not captured Kherson and that there was street fighting going on in the southern port, which sits at the Dnepr river's exit into the Black Sea.

"The city has not fallen, our side continues to defend," said the adviser, Oleksiy Arestovych.

Read more on the Russia-Ukraine War:

Video reportedly from Kherson showed a man waving Ukrainian flags in a square near a number of Russian tanks, according to Ukrinform.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko warned on Wednesday that Russian troops and a large number of tanks are gathering near the capital, adding that residents and the military are preparing to defend the city, according to Ukrinform.

Klitschko called on residents not to go outside unless necessary.

Russian forces continued to target cities throughout Ukraine, with heavy fighting reported in Kharkiv as Russian paratroopers landed in the Ukrainian city and proceeded to attack the Kharkiv Military Medical Center.

The police department in Kharkiv was reportedly hit by a Russian attack on Wednesday morning, with video reportedly from the scene showing the building on fire. The Faculty of Sociology at Kharkiv National University was also reportedly hit.

At least 21 people were killed and 112 wounded in shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv in the last 24 hours, regional governor Oleg Synegubov said on Wednesday.

Ukraine's State Emergency Service reported on Wednesday that three people were killed and 16 others were injured in a Russian airstrike in Zhytomyr overnight. The strike reportedly damaged a maternity hospital.

The Ukrainian state Ukrinform news agency reported that a senior official from the Pentagon stated that over 80% of Russia's combat potential had already been introduced into the conflict in Ukraine, with preparation to attack Kyiv and Kharkiv.

Ukraine's Armed Forces claimed on Wednesday that over 5,800 Russian soldiers had been killed and that Russia had lost 211 tanks, 862 armored vehicles, nine air defense systems, 30 planes, 31 helicopters and three UAVs.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces announced on Wednesday that it had downed two Russian Su-35 fighter jets and lost one MiG29 in a dogfight over Kyiv overnight.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces stated on Wednesday morning that Russian troops were attempting to surround the cities of Sumy, Lebedyn and Okhtyrka and to block Kyiv from the northeast. The military added that Russian troops were preparing for a landing operation from the Black Sea as well.

"Unsuccessful in advancing its forces, the enemy insidiously continues to launch missile and bomb strikes on critical infrastructure in order to intimidate the civilian population, which is courageously side by side with the Armed Forces of Ukraine," said the army on Facebook.

Ukraine's Defense Ministry claimed on Tuesday evening that Russia is planning a provocation to justify the introduction of Belarusian troops into the conflict, adding that about 300 Belarusian tanks were located near the border with Ukraine.

The Ukrainian parliament had claimed on Tuesday that Belarusian troops had already entered Ukraine in the Chernihiv region, north of Kyiv.

Adviser to the president, Arestovych, stated that there is no official data on the Belarusian military being involved in the conflict as of yet, although there are indications that they may be involved that Ukrainian officials are checking.

The president of Belarus stated on Tuesday morning that Belarus has no further plans to take part in the war in Ukraine, stressing that the Belarusian army has not and will not take any part in the hostilities.

Lukashenko also announced that reinforcements were being sent to Belarus's southern border and that he was deploying five additional battalions to there. "These are highly trained maneuver groups that are ready to stop any provocation and any military actions against Belarus," said the president.

British Defense Minister Ben Wallace warned on Wednesday that Putin's invasion of Ukraine will become more brutal.

"Anyone who thinks logically would not do what he (Putin) is doing, so we are going to see ... his brutality increase," Wallace told LBC radio.

"He doesn't get his way, he surrounds cities, he ruthlessly bombards them at night ... and he will then eventually try and break them and move into the cities."

Head of the Ukrainian Internal Affairs Ministry Anton Gerashchenko announced on Wednesday that Russian captives will be returned to their mothers if their mothers came to Ukraine to pick them up.