Russian troops in southeastern Ukraine have seized Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, Ukrainian officials said on Friday, but a fire there that had raised worldwide alarms was extinguished. There had been worries that the fire could spread to nuclear reactors and lead to radiation leaks, but international monitors said Friday morning that there was no immediate sign that radiation had leaked during the battle for the plant.
Across Ukraine, Russian forces are pressing ahead, laying siege to cities and trying to control vital ports, and Western officials said Moscow’s forces were targeting civilians and critical infrastructure. Russia’s continuing gains in the south could make it harder for Ukraine’s army to fight in other parts of the country.
Ukraine’s spirited defense has slowed the Russian advance, notably near Kyiv, the capital, where its forces have attacked a vast armored convoy bearing down on the city. But Russia is adding forces from the south and west in its efforts to take Kyiv, which the Ukrainian military said Friday remained a “key” Russian objective.
Here are the latest developments:
Russians are in control of Kherson and are bearing down on another important city, Mykolaiv, which could allow their forces to surround some the best-trained Ukrainian fighters in the southeast.
The southern port city of Mariupol has been encircled, and the Russian bombardment there has cut power, water and heat to the people, the mayor said.
The Ukrainian military also warned on Friday that the Russian naval fleet in the Black Sea was preparing for an amphibious assault as part of a plan to move on Odessa, a vital southern port city. Ukraine’s defense minister said its navy had deliberately sunk the flagship of its Black Sea fleet so that the Russians could not seize it.
Russian bombardment of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, has devastated residential areas and business districts, videos verified by The New York Times’s Visual Investigations team show.