Ukraine-Russia conflict: Almost 6,000 Russian troops killed during invasion, Ukraine military claims

The Ukrainian military has claimed 5,710 Russian troops have been killed in the assault against Ukraine as attacks in the country intensified overnight.

Russian missiles bombarded central Kharkiv on Monday night, hitting an opera house, concert hall and government offices in the city’s Freedom Square.

Videos posted online showed explosions hitting the Soviet-era administrative building and residential areas.

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Throughout the country, many Ukrainian civilians spent another night huddled in shelters, basements or corridors.

A woman clears the rubble of a damaged building in Kyiv.A woman clears the rubble of a damaged building in Kyiv.
A woman clears the rubble of a damaged building in Kyiv.

Some residents in Kharkiv have warned of a humanitarian crisis as many struggle to get access to food and water.

In a video message posted to Facebook, a spokesperson for the country's general staff said more than 200 Russian soldiers have been taken captive by Ukrainian forces.

The official also claimed 198 Russian tanks, 29 planes, 846 armoured vehicles and 29 helicopters have been destroyed.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky described the attack as “barbaric”.

"Russian forces have today cruelly targeted Kharkiv with artillery fire," Mr Zelensky said. "This is a peaceful place, peaceful suburbs … the Russians knew where they were shooting."

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Satellite images on Monday night showed a convoy of armoured vehicles, tanks, artillery and support vehicles that stretched about 40 miles long.

India's foreign minister has said an Indian student was killed in the strike. Ukrainian emergency services reported 20 people had been injured in the government office strike and six people had been recovered, although it is not known whether they were dead or alive.

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Ukrainian ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko, has warned Russian invaders could try to starve civilians in major cities in a bid to win the war.

Asked about the possibility by MP Bob Seely, the ambassador told the Commons Foreign Affairs committee that Russian president Vladimir Putin was facing a "lack of progress", with civilians meeting his tanks with "Molotov cocktails from their cars" rather than the "flowers" he dreamed of.

"The support and resilience is going so much against his plans and in Russia themselves [people] start asking questions 'what are we doing'," the ambassador said.

"I believe they might use the tactics you described in the second part, try to block our cities, try to soften political position, try and maybe ... [spark] some riots in Ukraine, because of the lack of food, against the Government."

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