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Kharkiv attacks ‘flash towers’ amid nuclear site fears as Ukraine braces for new ‘second wave offensive’

KYIV and Kharkiv came under renewed shelling overnight as murderous Vladimir Putin hammered residential homes ahead of a feared second wave offensive.

Missiles rained down after a day of true horror, which saw Russian troops fire into a nuclear reactor site and a mother and two children killed as they desperately tried to flee during a ceasefire.

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Footage on social media shows the moment an explosion hits a residential tower in Kharkiv
Cities came under renewed bombardment tonight as Russian forces murder helpless citizens

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Cities came under renewed bombardment tonight as Russian forces murder helpless citizensCredit: Getty
In Irpin, near Kiev, a mother and her two young children were killed yesterday by ruthless troops as they tried to flee

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In Irpin, near Kiev, a mother and her two young children were killed yesterday by ruthless troops as they tried to fleeCredit: AP
Tens of thousands try to flee the frontline amid untold atrocities

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Tens of thousands try to flee the frontline amid untold atrocitiesCredit: Getty
Experts have warned that Putin will redouble aggressive efforts after a heroic Ukrainian defense

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Experts have warned that Putin will redouble aggressive efforts after a heroic Ukrainian defenseCredit: AFP

Air raid sirens sounded in the capital Kiev in the early morning, while videos on social media showed a number of explosions in the second city of Kharkiv.

A chilling video, believed to have been filmed in Kharkiv, shows the moment a high-rise building was blown up in a huge orange flash.

Another clip records the constant rumble of shelling in the distance.

And a third allegedly showed a Russian attack plane going down in flames.

Presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovich said other areas bombed overnight included the outskirts of Kiev, Chernihiv in the north and Mykolaiv in the south.

The new raids came hours after National Security Secretary Alexei Danilov warned the nation to expect another attack.

“We withstood the first wave of Russian orc attacks, the heaviest.

“But the enemy is always dangerous as ready and united as possible.”

Thousands of people are trapped in besieged Kharkiv, which has seen some of the heaviest shelling of the invasion so far.

Across the city, snow-covered streets are paved with blown glass from windows and debris torn from buildings destroyed by missiles.

Earlier yesterday Russian forces were accused of firing at a facility with a nuclear reactor, raising fears of a major radioactive leak.

Mad Vlad’s army allegedly fired unguided rockets at the Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology.

Early this morning, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed without evidence that the Ukrainian spy agency had undermined the institute with explosives.

He added that Ukraine was planning a dangerous “provocation” and hoped to blame Russia for an explosion causing “an ecological disaster”.

The alarming statement raised fears that Vladimir Putin himself planned such horror in order to justify his slaughter of innocent people.

Meanwhile, officials in Kyiv have warned that Russia has now mustered a large enough force to attempt to seize the capital.

And some 30 Tochka-U tactical missile systems have been brought to Belarus from Russia, ready for a feared all-out assault.

Vadym Denysenko, adviser to the interior minister, said: “The Russian occupiers have gathered enough troops near Kiev and will try to seize the capital in the next few days.”

It looks like this:

Russia fired 600 missiles and deployed 95% of the military that had gathered on the border before the conflict, reports CNN.

Tens of thousands of people remain trapped in the beleaguered port city of Mariupol after a ‘ceasefire’ to allow a humanitarian escape route was breached for the second day in a row.

Desperate residents struggled for a fifth day without water or electricity after an evacuation was halted by Russian shelling.

Vadym Boychenko, mayor of the Black Sea port, said: “They are destroying us.”

The UK Ministry of Defense confirmed that Putin’s forces had promised to let people escape – but once again Russian shelling resumed before the refugees could leave.

In Irpin, near Kiev, at least eight people were killed when ruthless troops fired on families fleeing the front line.

A mother and her two children – including an eight-year-old girl – died trying to cross the river. Only the father and the family dog ​​survived.

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And the Kiev train station was packed with people desperate to escape as explosions rocked the city.

Lviv station in the west was also packed as people lined up all night trying to get to Poland.

Elsewhere, Putin’s men have been accused of dropping 500kg bombs on civilians in Chernihiv.

The video also showed rocket launchers firing at Peremoha about 40 miles from the capital. They seem to be targeting Kiev.

Thousands of people continue to flee their homes in Europe’s largest refugee exodus since World War II.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said more than 1.5 million people had been driven out since the start of the war, and that number was expected to reach four million by July.

He called it a “senseless war” and added: “Unless there is an immediate end to the conflict, millions more will likely be forced to flee Ukraine.”

DAY OF HORROR

As the massacre continues, Ukraine says Russia has lost 11,000 soldiers and more than 2,000 army vehicles – although US intelligence says the death toll is around 4,500.

Regardless of the true figure, Putin would have been deeply shocked by the ferocity of the heroic Ukrainians.

In a single day on Saturday, he reportedly lost nine planes.

Britain’s chief of defense said yesterday that the Kremlin had gotten “into trouble” because of the invasion.

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin told the BBC’s Sunday morning show that Russian forces’ morale was low and the Kremlin had lost more troops in a week than the UK had in 20 years in Afghanistan.

“We know that some of the main elements of the Russian forces have been decimated by the Ukrainian response,” he said.

But he warned aggression would increase as Putin struggles with his goals.

Russia is strangled by Western sanctions, which Putin said was almost a “declaration of war” against them.

And he also warned that anyone trying to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine would be considered to have entered the conflict.

Russia has threatened Britain directly, saying it “will not forget” its support for Ukraine and warning of “harsh retaliation”.

A father carries his daughter in his arms as a fire rages behind them

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A father carries his daughter in his arms as a fire rages behind themCredit: Reuters
Irpin was flattened by the bombardment

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Irpin was flattened by the bombardmentCredit: AP
Marina Yatsko and her partner Fedor rushed their 18-month-old son to hospital in Mariupol.  The baby did not survive his injuries.

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Marina Yatsko and her partner Fedor rushed their 18-month-old son to hospital in Mariupol. The baby did not survive his injuries.Credit: Twitter / Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine
The scene in Kharkiv is complete devastation

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The scene in Kharkiv is complete devastationCredit: AFP
Sergyi Badylevych, 41, embraces his wife Natalia and their baby in an underground metro station used as a bomb shelter in Kyiv

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Sergyi Badylevych, 41, embraces his wife Natalia and their baby in an underground metro station used as a bomb shelter in KyivCredit: AFP