Russia surrounds Ukrainian intelligence HQ as Moscow launches amphibious assault on coastal city

ITV News Correspondent witnessed troops moving into position to defend their country, as he travelled around the south of Ukraine

The Ukrainian intelligence HQ has been encircled by Russian special forces in the southern, coastal city of Melitopol - thought to be the target of a large scale amphibious assault launched by Moscow.

On Friday, ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers travelled towards the strategically important city of around 150,000 people - located close to Crimea in Ukraine's south-east.

American intelligence believes an amphibious assault has been launched - where thousands of marines will arrive in Ukraine via the sea - and that it will be targeted here.

The Russian military surrounding the Ukrainians' intelligence headquarters in Melitopol marked the next stage of the Kremlin's invasion, now taking place on several fronts.

Dan Rivers travelled as far towards Melitopol as possible, passing a convoy of armoured Ukrainian vehicles on the way. Credit: ITV News

On his way to the coastal city, Dan Rivers travelled past a long line of Ukrainian convoys preparing for battle.

He saw a vehicle burning in the middle of a road not far from where the Russian forces are based, while another was seen abandoned in a ditch.

Some of the Ukrainian convoys looked like they already made contact with the enemy. Credit: ITV News

A group of Ukrainian soldiers, determined to fight despite some having to grapple with aged military equipment, recounted their brush with death on Thursday night.

The described being forced to retreat following an enemy ambush at 4am.

A group of Ukrainian soldiers reflected on how close they came to death on Thursday night. Credit: ITV News

A few miles before the last Ukrainian position, a group of armoured Ukraine soldiers were receiving what could be their final briefing before being ordered to fight.

If Ukrainian troops can't hold back Russian forces, locals will have to live under Kremlin occupation.

North from the frontline, near the strategic crossing of the town of Zaporozhye, a suspected Russian spy found painting markings in luminous paint - perhaps to guide Russian aircraft - was detained by Ukrainian police.

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