Ukraine’s Zelenskyy says Russian strike collapsed Kharkiv TV tower | Russia-Ukraine war News

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Ukraine’s Zelenskyy says Russian strike collapsed Kharkiv TV tower | Russia-Ukraine war News

Ukrainian president tells Joe Biden that Russian attack on the tower is part of a plan to make the city ‘uninhabitable’.

A Russian missile strike that broke in half a 240-metre (787-foot) television tower in Kharkiv is part of a deliberate effort by Moscow to make Ukraine’s second-largest city uninhabitable, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said.

On Monday, dramatic video footage showed the main mast of the television tower breaking off and falling to the ground in the city, which has been pounded by missile and drone strikes for weeks.

Zelenskyy said he told US President Joe Biden about the air strike that was carried out several minutes before they spoke by telephone.

“It is Russia’s clear intention to make the city uninhabitable,” he said, according to a readout of the call published on the Telegram messaging application.

The northeastern city of Kharkiv has a population of 1.3 million and lies just 30km (19 miles) from the Russian border, making it an easy target for ballistic missiles and other weapons as Ukraine’s air defences have dwindled.

Its power facilities have been damaged particularly badly since Russia last month began targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

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

There were no casualties because workers at the site had taken shelter, he added.

The Service for State Special Communications said the structure of the tower had been “partially damaged” in what prosecutors said appeared to have been a strike with a Kh-59 cruise missile.

It said that there was “temporarily” no television signal and that they were working to restore it, urging residents of the city and region without a digital television signal to use cable or online television or the radio.

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.

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.