Kherson, a port city with over 280,000 residents in southern Ukraine, has fallen to Russian troops, according to the BBC.
Igor Kolykhaev, the mayor of Kherson, said that Russian troops had taken the city hall and set a curfew for residents, according to the BBC. Kolykhaev asked Russian troops to avoid shooting at civilians, the BBC reported.
Kolykhaev in an interview with the New York Times said that Ukrainian forces had already pulled out of the city following a Russian siege.
The BBC reported that the mayor, via a Facebook post, urged Kherson residents to follow Russian mandates including one to go outside “in groups of two at most.”
Kolykhaev continued, adding that “only cars carrying food, medicine and other supplies” can “enter the city, driving at a minimum speed,” according the BCC.
Chilling. Prisoner transport vehicles lining up in Kherson 🇺🇦 after the city was captured by 🇷🇺 after several days of fighting. Darkness descends. An empire of evil has come. pic.twitter.com/wzvlYV4vPy
— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) March 2, 2022
The fall of Kherson is part of a larger Russian invasion that has killed 2,000 Ukrainian civilians amid devastating missile strikes on multiple Ukrainian cities. Many Ukrainians have resorted to self-defense, with one brewery even producing Molotov cocktails to help hold Russian troops back. (RELATED: ‘Obviously Insane Czar’: Navalny Urges Russians To Protest Ukraine Invasion Every Day)
Kherson is located on the Dnieper River near the Black Sea and could form a crucial staging ground allowing Russian troops to advance deeper into Ukraine, according to the BBC.