Russian forces have seized control of a key port city in southern Ukraine. Kherson is the first major city to be taken by Russia, after heavy fighting, since it invaded a week ago. Its mayor, Igor Kolykhaev, said Russian troops had forced their way into the city council building and imposed a curfew on residents. Several cities have come under intense shelling, with Wednesday one of the most destructive days of the fighting.

In a Facebook post, Mr Kolykhaev said Russian forces were in control of Kherson, a port on Ukraine’s southern Black Sea coast with a population of more than two lakh eighty thousand people. He urged Russian soldiers not to shoot at civilians, saying there are no Ukrainian forces in the city. Mr Kolykhaev called on residents to follow conditions set by Russian forces in order to keep the Ukrainian flag flying.