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Five killed by Russian missiles in Ukraine capital

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At least five people have been killed and five others injured in a suspected missile attack on Kyiv’s TV tower, according to Ukraine’s civil defence authority.

Meanwhile, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of committing war crimes by targeting civilians in its bombing of the city of Kharkiv.

The BBC has verified social media posts which show eyewitnesses in Borodyanka, near Kyiv, describing how bombs hit family homes.

“No troops here, just ordinary residents of Borodyanka – grannies, grandads, kids. People are sheltering in basements. People, you must see what’s going on here,” one man can be heard saying in videos from the scene.

More evidence of war crimes comes after Oksana Markarova, the country’s ambassador to the United States, told reporters in Washington that Russia had also used a banned thermobaric weapon – known as a vacuum bomb – in its invasion of her country.

In the latest deadly attack early on Wednesday morning, the Kremlin has targeted media infrastructure in the capital in an apparent attempt to stop Ukrainians watching TV news updates.

Video released by Ukraine’s UNIAN news agency showed a dark cloud of smoke rising from the scene after the steel-lattice tower was apparently struck by two missiles during Russia’s siege of the city.

The BBC reports the attacks also caused damage to a nearby memorial for victims of the Nazi Holocaust.

Ukraine’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba called the Russian attacks “evil and barbaric”.

“The Kyiv TV tower, which has just been hit by a Russian missile, is situated on the territory of Babyn Yar,” he tweeted.

“On September 29-30, 1941, Nazis killed over 33 thousand Jews here. 80 years later, Russian Nazis strike this same land to exterminate Ukrainians.”

The attack briefly caused disruptions to broadcasts but transmissions have been fully restored and the tower is still standing, the deputy head of the presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said.

Russia said earlier it would launch targeted attacks on the infrastructure used by Ukrainian intelligence service SBU.

Another air raid siren sounded across the city on Tuesday afternoon and Mayor Vitali Klitschko described the situation as “threatening”.

“The enemy wants to conquer the heart of our country. But we will fight and not give up Kyiv,” he wrote on Telegram.

UN representatives walk out

Representatives of dozens of countries have protested against the Russian war in Ukraine by walking out of a sitting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva ahead of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s speech.

“The Human Rights Council must not be misused as a platform for disinformation,” said German ambassador Katharina Stasch, who took part in the stunt.

“Foreign Minister Lavrov’s grotesque claims must be exposed for what they are: a cynical distortion of the facts,” Ms Stasch said.

United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Mr Lavrov’s statement was “full of disinformation” and did not deserve the attention of other members following the Ukrainian invasion.

“Russia is isolated and should be ashamed to sit in the UN chamber,” she said.

Mr Lavrov, who joined proceedings in a pre-recorded video message, read out a long statement in which he justified the attack on Ukraine by accusing the Ukrainian side of human rights violations.

He had initially planned to attend the meeting in person but the trip was cancelled because of the closure of European airspace to Russian aircraft.

The UN Human Rights Council began its regular spring session on Monday.

In his speech, Mr Lavrov accused Ukraine of terrorising the Russian minority in Ukraine for years.

Their human rights had been violated in many ways, he claimed, adding that the US and its allies had not only looked on but supported this.

He mentioned the US, Canada and the European Union several times.

Since mid-February, more than 100,000 people have fled to Russia from Ukraine’s far eastern Donbass region, where pro-Russian separatists have been fighting central government forces since 2014.

The government in Kyiv wants its own nuclear weapons, Mr Lavrov said.

Soviet nuclear technology and the means to shoot down weapons armed in this way are still on Ukrainian territory, Mr Lavrov said, according to the UN’s English translation.

“We cannot fail to respond to this real danger,” he said, while also demanding that US nuclear weapons be withdrawn from the territory of NATO partners.

“We continue to believe that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

Mr Lavrov went on to say that a new arms race must be prevented.

There must be no dangerous steps in the context of military rearmament.

NATO members were ignoring this and were dragging Ukraine into the alliance’s orbit by supplying it with weapons, Lavrov said.

-with agencies

We’ve Already Come Too Far To End This Now.

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