In its latest move in the assault on Ukraine, Russia has struck down a major TV tower in the capital city of Kyiv, halting all digital TV broadcasting.
In a statement on Facebook, Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that no employees were hurt in the attack on the tower on Tuesday, but five civilians died.
The Kyiv TV tower is not only a key source of broadcast communication, but it’s also one of the tallest free-standing structures in the country.
Ukrainian journalist Illia Ponomarenko shared a video of the tower surrounded by dense smoke.
Russians are destroying the Kyiv TV Tower.
They are trying to cut us off from communications. pic.twitter.com/ppi264K5Jf
— Illia Ponomarenko (@IAPonomarenko) March 1, 2022
The Parliament of Ukraine shared a graphic video on Twitter, showing dead bodies covered in white ash next to the tower.
“To the whole world: Watch and be terrified,” they wrote. “These are the consequences of the attack on #Kyiv TV Tower. At least five people have been reported dead and five more injured. Those are someone’s mothers, fathers, and children. They were alive an hour ago.”
Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Zelenskyy also tweeted a reminder about why the site of the attack is so critical, aside from just the information dissemination functions of the tower itself.
“To the world: what is the point of saying ‘never again’ for 80 years, if the world stays silent when a bomb drops on the same site of Babyn Yar?” he asked. “At least 5 killed. History repeating…”
To the world: what is the point of saying «never again» for 80 years, if the world stays silent when a bomb drops on the same site of Babyn Yar? At least 5 killed. History repeating…
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 1, 2022
During World War II, 81 years ago, nearly 34,000 Jews were massacred by German Nazis in Kyiv’s Babyn Yar ravine. The massacre spanned just two days — September 29 to 30.
On its Telegram channel, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted that TV channels will not work for a while. Some channels will be available with backup broadcasts in the near future.
“Providers will retransmit the signal in full, and the channels will broadcast on satellite,” the Ministry said, adding that Ukrainian broadcasters are also available on OTT platforms, YouTube, and Kyiv’s local Digital Video Broadcasting — Terrestrial (DVB-T) channel MX-5.