Deadly blast at TV tower in Kyiv as Russia warns of fresh strikes on Ukraine's capital

ITV News Europe Editor James Mates reports from Kyiv where fresh strikes have already begun.

Five people were killed when a television tower in Kyiv was hit by a Russian missile, Ukraine’s parliament said.

Videos on social media show a loud explosion followed by billowing clouds of smoke pouring from the tower as Russia escalated its attacks.

There were several explosions and Ukrainian TV channels stopped broadcasting shortly afterward, local media reported.

Ukraine’s main Holocaust memorial was also said to have been targeted, along with other civilian sites on the sixth day of the Russian invasion.

Video on social media shows the tower explosion from several different angles

The head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office, Andriy Yermak, said on Facebook that a “powerful missile attack on the territory where the (Babi) Yar memorial complex is located” is under way. Babi Yar, a ravine in Kyiv, is where nearly 34,000 Jews were killed within 48 hours in 1941 when the city was under Nazi occupation.

The killing was carried out by SS troops along with local collaborators.

A Russian convoy winding its way to Kyiv. Credit: Maxar

The Russian attack on Ukraine has intensified in the past 24-hours with Vladimir Putin's forces stepping up their efforts to seize the capital as Moscow's defence minister urged people to leave their homes.

A 40-mile convoy of Russian tanks and other military vehicles was advancing on Kyiv where it is Vladimir Putin plan to oust Ukraine's government and install a Kremlin-friendly regime.

Russian forces are currently around 17 miles outside of the capital which they have their sights set on capturing in an apparent bid to overthrow the government.

The Russian Defence Ministry warned on Tuesday that strikes were being prepared on military sites in Kyiv, maintaining Moscow was seeking to incapacitate Ukrainian military infrastructure, insisting there are no threats whatsoever to the civilian population.

The minister urged people living near such sites to leave their homes.

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Ukraine's second-largest city was rocked by more Russian blasts in a second day of bombardment, with the country's president condemning the missile strike of a government building an act of "undisguised terror".

Explosions tore through residential areas, and a maternity ward was moved to an underground shelter.

Kharkiv’s Freedom Square - Ukraine’s largest plaza - was struck with what was believed to be a missile and was reduced to rumble. The bombardment blew out windows and walls of buildings around the square.

“People are under the ruins. We have pulled out bodies,” said Yevhen Vasylenko, a representative of the Emergency Situations Ministry in Kharkiv region.

A man carries a baby as people struggle to get to a train platform in Kyiv to flee the city

Ukraine's President Zelenskyy pronounced the attack on the main square “frank, undisguised terror,” blaming a Russian missile and calling it a war crime. “This is state terrorism of the Russian Federation,” he said.

In an emotional appeal to the European Parliament later, President Zelenskyy said: “We are fighting also to be equal members of Europe. I believe that today we are showing everybody that is what we are.”

A cameraperson has a close shave after a tank fires at a residential building in Kyiv

He said 16 children had been killed across Ukraine on Monday, and he mocked Russia’s claim that it is going after only military targets.

“Where are the children, what kind of military factories do they work at? What tanks are they going at, launching cruise missiles?” President Zelenskyy said.

Although Ukrainian forces still control Kharkiv and the coastal cities of Kherson and Mariupol, all three are encircled, according to the Uk Ministry of Defence.

ITV News Rohit Kachroo is in a bunker in the Ukrainian capital where many residents have been seeking safe shelter underground as the city braces for more attacks

Human Rights Watch said it documented a cluster bomb attack outside a hospital in Ukraine’s east in recent days.

Local residents also reported the use of the weapons in Kharkiv and the village of Kiyanka, though there was no independent confirmation.

If the allegations are confirmed, that would represent a new level of brutality in the war and could lead to even further isolation of Russia.

The Kremlin denied using such weapons.

Videos showing the aftermath of the shelling in Kharkiv on Monday

The Russian military’s movements have been stalled by fierce resistance on the ground and a surprising inability to completely dominate Ukraine’s airspace.

Ukrainians used whatever they had on hand to try to stop the Russian advance: On a highway between Odesa and Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine, residents piled tractor tires filled with sand and topped with sandbags to block convoys.