UPDATED: Russian advance on port city of Mykolayiv has been halted, says Ukrainian official

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LVIV, Ukraine March 4 (Reuters) – A Russian advance on the Ukrainian port city of Mykolayiv has been halted, an adviser to Ukraine’s president said on Friday, after local authorities reported Russian troops entering the ship-building hub on the Black Sea for the first time.

“We can feel cautious optimism about the future prospects of the enemy offensive – I think that it will be stopped in other areas also,” military adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said in a televised briefing.

  • The war in Ukraine will cause more deaths and destruction over the coming days, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday, calling on Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to withdraw all troops from Ukraine without conditions.

“The days to come are likely to be worse, with more deaths, more suffering and more destruction,” Stoltenberg told reporters after a meeting of the alliance’s foreign ministers in Brussels

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday the situation in Ukraine was worsening and it must not be allowed to escalate, adding Turkey would keep its air space open.

Speaking after a NATO meeting in Brussels, Cavusoglu added Turkey and Russia were in contact at the military level to make sure Turkish vessels could safely return from ports in the Black Sea.

He also said Turkey wanted to bring together the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers at a diplomacy forum in southern Turkey next week, but that it was unclear if the ministers would be able to attend.

  •  Ukraine’s Black Sea port city of Mykolayiv issued an air raid warning on Friday after the authorities reported fighting around the city as Russian forces sought to advance.

Earlier on Friday, the Ukrainian authorities said the Russian advance on the ship-building hub had been halted after Regional Governor Vitaliy Kim reported Russian troops entering 

  • Russian troops have entered the Ukrainian Black Sea port city of Mykolayiv for the first time, regional authorities said on Friday.

In a video statement shared online, Governor Vitaliy Kim said fighting was under way in parts of the city.

“Let’s not get nervous,” he said.

Photo issued by Ukrainian Ministry of Defence of a destroyed Russian tank

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