The Russian armed forces have established full control over the southern Ukrainian city of Melitopol, Defence Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a briefing on Saturday.
Earlier in the day, the Defence Ministry said that the Russian military had entered Melitopol without meeting resistance, Xinhua news agency reported. "On the evening of February 25, after an amphibious landing near the locality of Azovske (Ukraine), Russian units marched and, without meeting resistance, entered Melitopol," the ministry's Zvezda broadcaster reported.
The Russian troops were greeted by residents of Melitopol, and some older citizens took to the streets with red flags.
READ | Need anti-tank ammunition, not a ride: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy refuses evacuation offer from US
Meanwhile, British armed forces minister James Heappey, denied Russia's claims and said that Russian forces have not captured the southeastern Ukrainian city of Melitopol and armoured columns advancing on the capital Kyiv have been held up by Ukrainian resistance.
Heappey also said that it was the British assessment that Russia had so far failed to capture any of its day one targets for its invasion of Ukraine.
"Even Melitopol, which the Russians are claiming to have taken but we can't see anything to substantiate that, are all still in Ukrainian hands," Heappey told BBC radio.
READ | 'Nobody can stop Russia': Blind psychic Baba Vanga's CHILLING prediction goes viral amid Russia-Ukraine tension
"The fighting ... reported on the outskirts of Kyiv overnight, we understand to just be Russian special forces and pockets of paratroopers," he said.
"The reality is that the armoured columns that were coming down from Belarus and the north that were going to encircle Kyiv are still some way north because they've been held up by this incredible Ukrainian resistance," the minister said.
For the unversed, it was on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had authorised "a special military operation" in Donbas, and Ukraine confirmed that military installations across the country were under attack.