Russia's bombardment of Ukraine's second largest city Kharkiv leaves 21 dead

'It has been literal hell': Ukraine's second city has been utterly devastated by indiscriminate Russian attack, as Europe Editor James Mates reports

Russia's bombardment of Kharkiv has killed 21 people and injured 112, Ukrainian authorities reported, as the targeting of the country's second largest city continues.

Kharkiv National University was badly damaged by a powerful blast and footage shows flames billowing from the top of the building, as emergency services reported at least four deaths from the missile strike that hit the university, nearby police station and residential buildings at about 8am.

As the invasion entered its seventh day, Ukraine's State Emergency Service said 2,000 civilians have died in a week of war with Russia, though independent confirmation is not possible.

As well as landing in Kharkiv, Russian paratroopers are reported to have landed in and captured the port city of Kherson in the south of the country. This would be the first major claim for the invaders.

Oleksiy Arestovich, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said Russia shelled the northeastern city with rockets and airstrikes in response to their advance being stopped.

“Kharkiv today is the Stalingrad of the 21st century,” he said, adding that several Russian planes were shot down over Kharkiv.

While Moscow has said 498 Russian troops have been killed in Ukraine and 1,587 wounded - it is the first report of military casualties by Russia’s Defence Ministry since the country invaded its eastern European neighbour last week -the figures have not be immediately verified.

Russia and Ukraine continued talks on Wednesday evening, following an initial round on Monday.

According to the Ukrainian military, the aerial assault in Kharkiv began just as air raid sirens were starting to sound in the city and the surrounding region.

The statement adds that the Russian troops attacked a regional military hospital, and that fighting is ongoing.

Kharkiv, with a population of about 1.5 million, has come under a sustained attack in recent days.

Ukraine's parliament tweeted on Wednesday that a school in the city had been hit by shelling, while the day before, a missile hit a government building in the city's centre.

At least six were killed in the incident, emergency officials said.

Additionally, Ukraine's defence minister said dozens, including children, were killed when a Russian strategic bomber fired 16 guided missiles toward a residential area on Monday.

The deaths could not immediately be verified.

India said it has asked its nationals to leave Kharkiv by Wednesday evening, based on information that its authorities have received from Russia. Indian officials declined to give details about what information they had received from Moscow.

On Tuesday's News At Ten, ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers reported from Kharkiv and the missile strike that hit at the heart of Ukraine's second-largest city

Meanwhile Russia has been reprimanded by the United Nations General Assembly, where a motion demanding Moscow immediately stops the invasion of Ukraine was overwhelmingly backed.

Meeting in New York, 141 nations voted in favour of the motion calling for the withdrawal of all occupying forces, while five were against and 35 countries abstained.

'Rarely has the UN been so humiliated as it has been in the last week by Russia,' US Correspondent Emma Murphy reports

Resolutions of the General Assembly are not legally binding but do show the strength of international feeling and further diplomatically isolates Russia at the UN.

The countries that backed Russia in the vote were Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea and Syria.

Sergiy Kyslytsya, Ukraine's Ambassador to the UN, told the assembly that Russia had "come to deprive Ukraine of the very right to exist. They have come to resolve the Ukrainian issue, as their propagandists claimed".

He said Russia's aim was "not an occupation" but a "genocide."

A 40 mile-long convoy of Russian troops near Invankiv, heading to Kyiv, was captured in satellite images Credit: Maxar Technologies

A 40-mile long convoy of hundreds of Russian tanks and other vehicles continues to advance slowly on Kyiv, the capital city of nearly three million people.

The convoy is around 15 miles from the capital and there are fears the military equipment could be used to step up the bombardment of the capital, resulting in greater loss of life.

How much territory have Russian troops seized and where will likely be the scene of the next large-scale attack? Dan Rivers reports live from Dnipro

As well as landing in Kharkiv, Russian paratroopers are reported to have landed in and captured the port city of Kherson in the south of the country.

Who has overall control of the Black Sea city was not immediately clear, but if Moscow has taken the city then it would be the largest one to fall to the Russians so far.

The city's council reported around 40 people had been killed during "military operations" over the last two days. This figure could not be independently verified.

On Tuesday's News At Ten, ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers explained how Russian tactics have changed, and they are targeting infrastructure of the state, but Ukrainians are not backing down in the face of Russian aggression

In an update on Wednesday morning, the UK's Ministry of Defence (MoD) said Russia's gains in the last 24 hours had "limited" due to "a combination of logistical difficulties and strong Ukrainian resistance".

The MoD added that heavy Russian artillery and airstrikes continue to be carried out on the cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv and Mariupol.

According to the UN, 874,000 people have fled Ukraine - half of who have headed to Poland - with the figure expected to pass one million soon.

In a televised address from his military bunker on Wednesday morning, Mr Zelenskyy said that the invasion is "beyond humanity. They have orders to erase our history, our country and all of us."Day six of the biggest ground war in Europe since World War II found Russia increasingly isolated, beset by the sanctions that have thrown its economy into turmoil and left the country practically friendless, apart from a few nations like China, Belarus and North Korea.

The UK Ministry of Defence said it had seen an increase in Russian air and artillery strikes on populated urban areas over the past two days. It also said three cities - Kharkiv, Kherson and Mariupol - were encircled by Russian forces.

Ukrainian servicemen ride on top of an armoured personnel carrier speeding down a deserted boulevard during an air raid alarm, in Kyiv Credit: AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

Many military experts worry that Russia may be shifting tactics.

Moscow’s strategy in Chechnya and Syria was to use artillery and air bombardments to pulverize cities and crush fighters’ resolve.

Ukrainian authorities said five people were killed in an attack on a TV tower in central Kyiv on Tuesday. Some Ukrainian channels briefly stopped broadcasting, officials said.

Thousands of people continue to flee Ukraine Credit: Visar Kryeziu/AP

The bombing came after Russia announced it would target transmission facilities used by Ukraine’s intelligence agency. It urged people living near such places to leave their homes.

Mr Zelenskyy also condemned a missile attack on the site of the Babi Yar Holocaust memorial, which is near the tower.

A spokesperson for the memorial said a Jewish cemetery at the site, where Nazi occupiers killed more than 33,000 Jews over two days in 1941, was damaged.

Is Russia committing war crimes in Ukraine? ITV News correspondents analyse the latest developments in the crisis

In the lead up to the invasion, President Putin told the world he aimed to "denazify" Ukraine, a country with a Jewish president who lost ancestors in the Holocaust.

Mr Zelenskyy called the memorial attack "beyond humanity" and said Russian soldiers "have orders to erase our history, our country and all of us."

In a previous appeal to the European Parliament later, Mr 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.”

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