Moscow: Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed Wednesday that Russian aviation disabled the main TV tower in Ukraine’s capital in an airstrike, but said the attack did not hit any residential buildings.
Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov did not address deaths from Tuesday’s strike or damage to the adjacent Babi Yar memorial to Kyiv’s Holocaust victims.
He said the attack was aimed at disabling Ukraine’s ability to stage information attacks. Ukraine’s State Service for Emergency Situations said the strikes on the TV tower killed five people and left five more wounded. Ukrainian television stations briefly went down after the strike but were later restored.
Konashenkov also said Russian forces had seized the southern city of Kherson. The claim could not immediately be confirmed.
Russian forces have faced tougher than expected resistance since invading Ukraine from three sides last week.
Leading Russian bank Sberbank announced Wednesday it is pulling out of European markets amid tightening Western sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The bank said its subsidiaries in Europe were facing an abnormal outflow of funds and a threat to the safety of employees and branches, according to Russian news agencies. They did not provide details of the threats.
Authorities in Austria and Czech Republic had taken actions in recent days against Sberbank’s activities in Europe.
The move was the latest consequence of Russia’s invasion last week, which has led to warfare across Ukraine and unprecedented Western sanctions aimed at isolating Russia’s economy.
A firm that tracks cryptocurrency transactions says $33.8 million in the digital currency has been donated to Ukraine’s government and non-governmental organizations there since the start of Russia’s invasion, nearly a third of it on Tuesday.
Chief Scientist Tom Robinson of Elliptic said most donations to date have been in bitcoin and ether. Some people are sending non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, to the Ukrainian government’s ethereum account.
Ukraine issued a plea for contributions on Twitter last week. To date, it has received 30,000 donations, including $5.8 million from Gavin Wood, the British programmer who co-founded ethereum. There have been several other donations of more than $1 million.
Elliptic also warned of scammers tricking unsuspecting cryptocurrency holders wanting to donate to Ukrainian causes. Elliptic is among firms that help law enforcement track cryptocurrency to combat money laundering.