Russian armed forces seize Ukraine's Melitopol: Defense Ministry
Russian soldiers are taking all measures to ensure the safety of civilians.
The Russian armed forces have established full control over the Ukrainian city of Melitopol in the south of the country, Russian Defense Ministry Spokeperson Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday.
"Units of the Russian Armed Forces have established full control over the city of Melitopol," Konashenkov told reporters.
He also stressed that Russian soldiers are taking all measures to ensure the safety of civilians and exclude provocations by Ukrainian special services and nationalists.
Russia has for months been warning of the threat posed against it by NATO's attempts to expand eastward, which happened alongside an increase in NATO military activity along Russia's borders, and batches of lethal weapons being sent to Ukraine, prompting Russia to request security guarantees from the West. Washington failed to provide the guarantees.
With the special military operation ongoing, Russia has reiterated its endorsement of diplomacy as the Russian President told his Chinese counterpart earlier that Russia is ready to hold high-level negotiations with Ukraine.
On Thursday, Russia launched a special operation to demilitarize Ukraine, responding to calls from the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics for help in countering the aggression of the Ukrainian troops. The Russian Defense Ministry said the special operation is targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure only and the civilian population is not in danger. Moscow confirms it has no plans to occupy Ukraine.