Eastern Ukraine town under attack, Kharkiv TV tower hit

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Ukraine tanks are firing at Russian positions in Chasiv Yar, the site of fierce battles.
Ukraine tanks are firing at Russian positions in Chasiv Yar, the site of fierce battles.

The 240-metre television tower in Ukraine’s city of Kharkiv has broken in half and fallen to the ground, footage obtained by Reuters shows, after what local officials said was likely a Russian missile attack on television infrastructure.

The broadcasting signal was disrupted to Ukraine’s second largest city, which has been pounded by Russian missile and drone strikes in recent weeks.

“At the moment there are interruptions to the digital television signal,” regional governor Oleh Syniehubov said.

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A television tower was broken in half after it was hit by a Russian missile in Kharkiv. (AP PHOTO)

There were no casualties because workers were in shelters, he added.

Footage from the scene showed the main mast of the tower breaking off and falling down as a cloud of smoke rose into the sky.

It was not clear from the footage what had hit the mast, but Kharkiv prosecutors said Russia had likely used a cruise Kh-59 missile in the attack.

The video was verified by corroborating video from another angle showing the same moment the top of the tower collapsed.

Russia first attacked Kharkiv’s television tower several times in early March 2022 soon after it launched its full-scale invasion. The signal was disrupted at the time.

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Russia has ordered its soldiers to capture the town of Chasiv Yar by May 9, Russia’s Victory Day. (AP PHOTO)

Moscow has recently stepped up its attacks, while Ukraine is suffering a shortage of air defence capabilities. Kharkiv and the surrounding region have experienced the most intense strikes.

Elsewhere in Ukraine, a force of up to 25,000 Russian soldiers were trying to storm the eastern town of Chasiv Yar and surrounding villages, Kyiv said.

Ukraine has full control of Chasiv Yar, which lies on strategic high ground in the partially-occupied Donetsk region, but Kyiv’s top commander has said Russia wants to capture the town by May 9 when it marks Soviet Victory Day in World War Two.

“The situation around the town is difficult, however the situation is controllable… Our defenders are both receiving reinforcement and stabilising the line,” said Nazar Voloshyn, a spokesman for the eastern military command.

“It’s somewhere around 20,000-25,000 Russian servicemen trying to storm Chasiv Yar and the outskirts of settlements near it,” he said in televised comments on public broadcaster Suspilne.

The capture of Chasiv Yar would bring Russia closer to two strategically important cities under Ukrainian control, Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.

Russia has already been inching forward, but long-delayed US military assistance is expected to reach Ukraine relieving critical ammunition shortages in a matter of days following its expected final approval this week.

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Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy thanked US President Joe Biden for his support and leadership. (AP PHOTO)

“It is difficult for our soldiers, but receiving the necessary assistance will even out the situation,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Telegram.

Zelenskiy also posted that he had expressed gratitude to US President Joe Biden for his support and leadership in a telephone conversation on Monday.

He noted in the conversation the role of House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson and House Minority leader Hakeem Jeffries in securing passage of a major military aid bill to Ukraine, he wrote on Telegram.

He also told Biden about “Russian air terror through thousands of missiles, drones and bombs” and noted the strike on a television tower in Ukraine’s second largest city of Kharkiv, which occurred minutes before their conversation.

Reuters