Russia claims it has captured Melitopol in southeastern Ukraine

Russia’s defense ministry on Saturday claimed that it had captured the southeastern Ukrainian city of Melitopol after conducting overnight strikes, Reuters reported.

The Russian defense ministry said that dozens of artillery vehicles, tanks and multiple aircraft had been destroyed and that Russian forces also attacked hundreds of military infrastructure targets, though Reuters noted it could not immediately reach officials from Ukraine for confirmation.

The defense ministry noted that the overnight strikes were conducted by ship- and air-based cruise missiles, according to the newswire.

The development comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed in a video message on Saturday that the Ukrainian military still controlled Kyiv despite Russian troops entering the capital on Friday, according to CNN.

Zelensky in an address on Friday had warned that Ukrainians would be in for a tough night ahead, saying “the night will be tough, very tough. But the morning will come.”

President Biden late Friday directed the drawdown of up to $350 million in military aid for Ukraine.

“This package will include further lethal defensive assistance to help Ukraine address the armored, airborne, and other threats it is now facing. It is another clear signal that the United States stands with the people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereign, courageous, and proud nation,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on the matter on Saturday.

The development comes just two days after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine.

Tags Antony Blinken Antony Blinken Joe Biden Joe Biden Russia Ukraine

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