News from Ukraine: Horrific Kiev residential airstrike kills seven including two children | World | News

The attack reportedly took place in Markhalivka, a rural community in Kyiv Oblast, southwest of the city. Ukraine’s national police said two other adults and two children were hospitalized.

He added that the airstrike completely destroyed two houses and damaged nine others.

He said that as of 4 p.m. this afternoon (Friday), “police and rescuers are working on the scene”. Further information is expected to be released, the force said.

The Russian military has stepped up its offensive against Ukraine, including heavy missile bombardments on the capital Kiev.

Last night Russian forces took control of the largest nuclear power plant, Zaporizhzhia, north of Melitopol.

The US Embassy in Kyiv this afternoon described the bombing of the plant as a war crime in itself, adding that it pushes Vladimir Putin’s “reign of terror” one step further.

Ukrainian armed forces and civilians repelled the invading troops, but reported tragic casualties from Russian attacks.

Western allies fear this is a sign of Putin’s shift in tactics towards indiscriminate targeting of urban areas.

Ukraine is also suffering from a humanitarian crisis, as workers try to get medical supplies into the country.

Meanwhile, an estimated one million people have fled since the conflict began last Thursday.

On Wednesday, Boris Johnson told the House of Commons that Russian bombings of innocent civilians “are already fully qualified as a war crime”.

Yesterday the government announced it had joined 37 other allies in referring Russia to the International Criminal Court – the ‘biggest ever’.

The Prime Minister said: “We are perfectly clear that Putin cannot commit these horrific acts with impunity.”

Today Ukraine’s Foreign Minister said Russian soldiers raped Ukrainian women in occupied towns.

Dmytro Kuleba said he was aware of “many cases” as he joined calls for Putin to be tried for his actions.

The strikes that damaged the Babi Yar Holocaust memorial in Kyiv and Kharkiv’s central square have also drawn fierce condemnation around the world.

On Tuesday, the ICC announced it would investigate potential war crimes committed by Russia in connection with the offensive.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan QC said “there is a reasonable basis to believe that alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Ukraine”.

However, Putin maintained the claim that Russian forces responded to aggression from Ukraine.

Speaking earlier today, the Russian president said: “There are no bad intentions towards our neighbours, and I would advise them not to aggravate the situation, not to introduce restrictions.

“We are fulfilling all our obligations and will continue to do so. We see no need to escalate the situation and worsen our relationship.

“All our actions, if taken, are taken exclusively in response to actions hostile to the Russian Federation.”

Western leaders have called Ukraine’s invasion “unprovoked” and Putin’s nuclear threat last weekend “unacceptable”.

Christi C. Elwood