Live updates: Russia invades Ukraine

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov. (government bulletin)

On Saturday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said that Russian forces “advanced in some directions” but that the Ukrainian defenders were “resisting and expelling the occupiers”.

“It is clear that the enemy has advanced in some directions but only controls small areas. Our defenders are repelling very hard and expelling the occupiers,” he said in a statement, adding that due to “the slowdown in the pace of the offensive and the resistance of the Ukrainians, Russia is changing its tactics.”

“As of today, the Ukrainian sky is the most vulnerable,” he said. “The aggressor comprehensively and effectively uses its air and missile capabilities. All types of aviation bomb our cities, towns and civilian infrastructure, including critical infrastructure and dangerous infrastructure, among them nuclear and hydropower plants.”

Reznikov said Russian forces were targeting residential buildings, schools, kindergartens and hospitals. “The enemy is destroying churches and cathedrals. It is bombing railway stations with thousands of women and children who are evacuating them,” he said.

“These are the tactics of fearful jackals,” he said. “I am sure that the enemy will pay for every soul and every tear.”

Mariupol, Volnovakha, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Mykolaiv and Kherson are among the cities where the situation is currently considered “more complex,” Reznikov said, adding: “We really hope that the humanitarian corridor will work and we will be able to evacuate civilians.”

Reznikov said the main efforts of Russian forces continue to focus on encircling Kyiv and suppressing resistance in cities and towns.

Some context: Russia routinely denies causing civilian casualties in Ukraine. International media and observers have extensively documented civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure.

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