Ukrainian soldiers in the city of Kharkiv
Ukrainian soldiers in the city of Kharkiv Reuters

Russian shelling of Kharkiv on Thursday killed 7 and injured 16, according to reports.

"This is a devious and cynical strike on civilians with no justification," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on in a Telegram post.

Ukrainian forces announced that they had forced Russian troops to retreat in the southern region of Kherson, as Russian forces continued to shell Kharkiv.

"Russian forces have achieved only minimal advances, and in some cases we have advanced, since last month," Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said in a statement. "What we are seeing is a 'strategic deadlock.'"

In another area of Kharkiv on Thursday, a civilian was killed in pre-dawn shelling, regional governor Oleh Synehubov said.

The death toll came as UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres was about to meet with Zelenskyy and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan later on Thursday in Lviv. Their meeting discussed the road to a political resolution to the war, the global food crisis, and how to safeguard Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant under Russian occupation, Europe's largest nuclear facility, CBC News reported.