A fireman walks after Russian airstrike hit Kyiv's main television tower in Kyiv - image taken from NDTV

Five killed in Russian strike on Kyiv TV tower

· Chronicle

An apparent Russian airstrike aimed at Kyiv’s main television tower killed five people yesterday, officials said, knocking out some broadcasts but leaving the structure intact.

After a blast sounded around the city and smoke was seen rising in the Babi Yar district, the emergencies service said five people were also injured in the attack.

Ukrainian officials released footage of charred bodies and cars damaged by the strike, which came during a surge of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s second city of Kharkiv.

“To the world: what is the point of saying ‘never again’ for 80 years, if the world stays silent when a bomb drops on the same site of Babi Yar,” Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky asked in a tweet.

“Once again, these barbarians are murdering the victims of Holocaust!”

The tower is based near the Babi Yar ravine where more than 30 000 were slaughtered by the Nazis during World War II.

The tragedy is commemorated by a memorial statue and is a site of pilgrimage for many Jews.

Ukrainian officials accused Moscow of threatening the memorial.

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said the attack damaged the tower’s transformer substation, which provides it with electricity, as well as some of its hardware.

The interior ministry said that back-up systems would be put into operation to restore programming. Most

Ukrainian channels appeared to be functioning normally about an hour after the strike.

Earlier, the Russian defence ministry spokesman had said that Moscow’s forces would hit technological infrastructure in Kyiv “to suppress information attacks on Russia”.

But the targets he cited — the SBU security service and the army psychological operations unit — did not include the civilian-run television tower in the capital.

Meanwhile, Russia warned Kyiv residents to flee their homes yesterday and rained rockets on the city of Kharkiv as

Russian commanders intensified their bombardment of Ukrainian urban areas in a shift of tactics after their six-day assault stalled.

A U.S. official said a miles-long armoured column bearing down on Kyiv had not made any advances on the capital in the past 24 hours, frozen in place by logistics problems, short on fuel and food, and perhaps pausing to reassess tactics.

Russia’s defence ministry said it was planning to strike targets in Kyiv used by Ukraine’s security service. It warned residents near such sites to evacuate their homes, while giving no information about where in the city of three million people those targets were located.

Kyiv’s mayor published a video showing the moment when a TV antennae in the city was engulfed in flames, apparently hit by a rocket, killing five people. Earlier, Russia’s defence ministry said it would strike communications sites in Kyiv it said were being used for “information attacks”, TASS news agency reported.

Rocket strikes on Ukraine’s second biggest city Kharkiv killed at least 10 people and wounded 35, Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko said. Similar strikes killed and wounded dozens in Kharkiv on Monday.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the artillery barrages on Kharkiv, a city of 1.5 million, amounted to “state terrorism”.

But nearly a week since Russian troops poured over the border, they have not captured a single major Ukrainian city after running into far fiercer resistance than they expected.–AFP/Reuters