Shocking CCTV footage has captured the moment a missile strikes a government building in Kharkiv, causing a huge explosion and extensive damage.
Russian artillery targeted residential areas and the administration building in Ukraine’s second-largest city as Moscow started day six of its invasion.
Oleg Synegubov, head of the Kharkiv regional state administration, said Russia launched GRAD and cruise missiles on Kharkiv, but insisted that the city’s defence was holding to protect its population of 1.5 million people.
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Sky News has verified the clip which captures a missile striking the Kharkiv Region State Administration Building on Freedom Square at around 8am local time.
It showed a massive explosion next to the towering Soviet-era administrative building which struck several cars parked in front of it and shattered windows.
When paused, an incoming projectile can be seen above the building before impact.
Images show the building’s facade and interior badly damaged by the powerful blast that also blew up part of its roof.
Six people were injured in the attack, including a child, the state emergencies agency said.
“Such attacks are genocide of the Ukrainian people, a war crime against the civilian population!” Mr Synegubov said in a video posted to social media on Tuesday morning.
Indian student killed
India’s foreign ministry confirmed that an Indian student was killed in shelling in the eastern city of Kharkiv on Tuesday.
“Foreign Secretary is calling in Ambassadors of Russia and Ukraine to reiterate our demand for urgent safe passage for Indian nationals who are still in Kharkiv and cities in other conflict zones,” ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said on
Thousands of Indian students attend universities in Ukraine and many have been trapped since the invasion last week.
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Putin accused of war crimes
In an address on Tuesday, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky called Russia’s strike on central Kharkiv and the administration building a “war crime and a conscious destruction of people”.
“Evil, armed with rockets, bombs and artillery, must be stopped immediately. Destroyed economically,” he said.
Meanwhile, the country’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba described the attack as “barbaric” while accusing Vladimir Putin of committing war crimes.
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“Barbaric Russian missile strikes on the central Freedom Square and residential districts of Kharkiv. (Russian President Vladimir) Putin is unable to break Ukraine down. He commits more war crimes out of fury, murders innocent civilians,” Mr Kuleba said on social media.
“The world can and must do more. INCREASE PRESSURE, ISOLATE RUSSIA FULLY,” he wrote.
It comes as the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, says he wants to open an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine.
Dominic Raab told Sky News on Tuesday that anyone engaging in war crimes in Ukraine would be held to account.
“This is turning into a much much more perilous misadventure for Putin than I think he realised,” the deputy prime minister said.
“I think we’ve been very clear that those that engage in war crimes will be held to account.”
Cluster ammunition and thermobaric weapons
Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the US, told reporters after meeting with members of the US Congress
that Russia had used a thermobaric weapon, known as a vacuum bomb, in its invasion of her country.
“They used the vacuum bomb today. The devastation that Russia is trying to inflict on Ukraine is large,” she said.
On Monday, Ms Markarova accused Russia of attacking Ukrainians with cluster bombs and vacuum
bombs, weapons that have been condemned by a variety of international organisations.
Sky News also verified footage of a series of explosions in northeastern Kharkiv where three children were among nine people killed – with a military expert saying the shelling appears to be the classic pattern for a cluster munition.
Mariupol under ‘constant shelling’
Russian forces have also been heavily targeting the southeastern city of Mariupol, with its mayor saying the port city is under “constant shelling” that has killed civilians and damaged infrastructure.
Vadym Boichenko said: “We have had residential quarters shelled for five days. They are pounding us with artillery, they are shelling us with Grads, they are hitting us with air forces.
“We have civilian infrastructure damaged – schools, houses. There are many injured. There are women, children killed.”
Elsewhere, at least 70 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed along with some local residents when Russian artillery hit a military base in Okhtyrka.
Russia has described its actions in Ukraine as a “special operation” that is not designed to occupy territory but to destroy
its southern neighbour’s military capabilities and capture what it regards as dangerous nationalists.
And in northeast Kyiv, footage from a passing car captured flames shooting up from a military base in the suburb of Brovary.
The Russian military’s advance has been stalled by fierce resistance on the ground and a surprising inability to dominate Ukraine’s air space.