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Russia takes over major Ukrainian city of Kherson

The agency also reported that Russian forces have also surrounded the crucial port city of Mariupol.

Russia takes over major Ukrainian city of Kherson
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In one of the biggest captures for Russia since the war began, Ukrainian official confirmed to news agency AFP that the city of Kherson has fallen. The agency also reported that Russian forces have also surrounded the crucial port city of Mariupol.

Kherson is under Russian soldiers' "complete control", Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Wednesday. He said that the city's civilian infrastructure, essential facilities and transport are operating as usual and that there are no shortages of food or essential goods.

Konashenkov said talks between the Russian commanders, city administrations and regional authorities on how to maintain order in the city were underway Wednesday. The claims could not be immediately verified.

Moscow's isolation deepened, meanwhile, when most of the world lined up against it at the United Nations to demand it withdraw from Ukraine. And the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court opened an investigation into possible war crimes.

A second round of talks aimed at ending the fighting was expected Thursday, but there appeared to be little common ground between the two sides.

Russia reported its military casualties for the first time since the invasion began last week, saying nearly 500 of its troops have been killed and almost 1,600 wounded. Ukraine did not disclose its own military losses but said more than 2,000 civilians have died, a claim that could not be independently verified.

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