Officials reported that Russian forces killed dozens of civilians and injured hundreds more after rockets hit regions in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.

"Kharkiv has just been massively fired upon by grads [rockets]. Dozens of dead and hundreds of wounded," the interior ministry said on Facebook per BBC News.

Following a phone chat between Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin, the Élysée Palace announced per The Guardian that Putin had stated that he was "ready to commit" to ending strikes on people and civil infrastructure while the talks were ongoing.

On the fifth day of battle, Ukrainian interior ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko stated Kremlin had been firing on Kharkiv despite Russian forces advancing more slowly than many observers had expected.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine last week in the worst assault on a European state since World War II, Reuters said the northeastern city, Ukraine's second-largest, has become one of the primary battlegrounds.

Russia is assaulting Ukraine on numerous fronts, but Ukrainian resistance has delayed its advance.

Rockets were seen landing in Kharkiv in videos uploaded on social media, which some defense specialists described as characteristic of a cluster munition strike on a densely populated urban area.

Russia has previously stated that it does not target residential areas.

Ukrainian officials said soldiers are firing artillery at Kharkiv residential neighborhoods with no Ukrainian army posts or key infrastructure.

“Control over Kharkiv is completely ours! The armed forces, the police, and the defence forces are working, and the city is being completely cleansed of the enemy,” a Ukrainian official said per Al Jazeera.

On Monday, officials claimed that the attacks killed eleven people left hundreds of others injured.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian capital Kyiv, supermarkets reopened, and inhabitants left bomb shelters and homes for the first time since officials imposed a curfew on Saturday.

Oleksiy Arestovich, an adviser to Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said in the same Al Jazeera report that the critical port city of Mariupol was "holding on."

Russian troops have advanced from Kherson in southern Ukraine to Mykolaiv, according to the Russian news agency Interfax.

Meanwhile, a missile struck a residential structure in the Ukrainian city of Chernihiv near the Belarusian border, according to a Telegram message from the Ukrainian state communications service.

Energoatom, Ukraine's state-owned energy firm, denied Russian assertions that its troops had taken control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as false.

It was unable to verify the details of the military developments independently.

Since the invasion began, more than 350 people, including at least 14 children, have been killed.

This photograph shows a view of a school destroyed as a result of fight not far from the centre of Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, located some 50 km from Ukrainian-Russian border, on February 28, 2022. SERGEY BOBOK/AFP via Getty Images

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