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What do we know about Kherson and Kharvik, two cities in Vladimir Putin’s sights?

If, after six days of conflict, the name of Kiev is more familiar to you, what about Kherson and Karvik? In the headlines since Wednesday morning, the two Ukrainian cities have been the prime target of Vladimir Putin’s armies for the past twelve hours. Demography, geography and balance sheet of the night, 20 Minutes tells you everything about these two cities, whose name is no longer likely to escape you.

Kherson, cblew on tuesday night

Surely the lesser known of the two cities, Kherson is a city in southern Ukraine, located 447 km southeast of Kiev and less than 80 km from the Black Sea. With a total area of ​​135.7 km2, it was home to almost 290,000 inhabitants in 2017, according to a UN census. Important port of the Black Sea and the Dnieper (river of Eastern Europe), Kherson is the seat of the naval construction sites in Ukraine. It is also close to Crimea.

At 1:23 a.m., according to city mayor Igor Kolykhayev, the Russians took control of the coastal city of Kherson. At 5:49 the same night, Vladimir Putin’s army seized the railway station.

Map of Ukraine showing locations of recorded explosions, strikes and fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces and areas under Russian control and claimed by Russians, as of March 2 at 8:30 GMT. – Simon MALFATTO, Sabrina BLANCHARD, Cléa PÉCULIER, Kenan AUGEARD

At 8:13 a.m., less than seven hours after the start of the offensive, Russia claimed to have taken full control of the city after fierce fighting. “Russian army units took full control of the regional capital of Kherson “, said the spokesman for the Russian armed forces, Igor Konashenkov, assuring that the “civilian infrastructure” and public transport were operating normally.

Kharvik, the city of symbolic bombardments

With its 1.419 million inhabitants in 2017 according to the UN, Kharvik is the second largest city in Ukraine. Administrative capital of Kharkiv Oblast (administrative subdivision of Ukraine), the eponymous city is located 423 km east of the capital, Kiev. It extends over 350 km2 and is located at the confluence of the three rivers Kharvik, Lopane and Oudy, these being part of the watershed of Serversky Donets in the north-eastern region of Ukraine. Its proximity to the Russian border and its administrative weight in Ukrainian politics make it, after Kiev, a privileged target for Vladimir Putin.

Location of the main bombings and explosions since February 24 in the center of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city.
Location of the main bombings and explosions since February 24 in the center of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city. – SIMON MALFATTO, SOPHIE RAMIS, KENAN AUGEARD

At around 4:30 a.m., Russian airborne troops landed in Kharkiv, the Ukrainian military said, citing ongoing fighting. “Russian airborne troops landed in Kharkiv (…) and attacked a local hospital,” the Ukrainian army said in a statement on Telegram. “There is a fight going on between the invaders and the Ukrainians,” she said.

For 8 hours, the images of Kharkiv hit by bombardments follow one another. One of the advisers to the Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs has published images of a building damaged by Russian fire. This would be the premises of the regional police department.

At 11 a.m., at least four people had been killed and nine others injured in Russian bombings that targeted the headquarters of the security services and a university in Kharkiv in Ukraine on Wednesday morning, Ukrainian relief said. “So far, ten people have been rescued from the rubble, the preliminary toll is four dead and nine injured,” said the source, in a message on social media as the country’s second city suffered an attack. of the Russian armed forces. Twenty-one people had been killed the day before in bombardments, in particular that of the headquarters of the local administration.

In the wake of the strikes hit the regional headquarters of the security forces and police, as well as the university, according to the emergency services. “There is no longer an area in Kharkiv where an artillery shell has not yet struck,” said Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Minister. Each located less than 500 km from Kiev, the cities of Kharkiv and Kherson could be a glimpse of the capital’s destiny.

Source: 20minutes

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