Explosions erupted around Kiev's 1,300-ft TV tower on Tuesday afternoon (local time), just hours after Russia told civilians to evacuate because it was about to begin bombarding 'strategic' targets in the Ukrainian capital, Daily Mail reported.

At least two large blasts were seen near the foot of the tower, around three miles from central Kiev, at around 5.30 pm local time.

It was not immediately clear whether the tower had been the target of the strikes, or whether they had been targeting nearby buildings. The tower remained standing, but several state broadcasts went off air, the report said.

Russia-Ukraine crisis

That raised fears that Kiev was about to come under heavy bombardment after the cities of Kharkiv, Mariupol and Kherson were hit by indiscriminate shelling earlier in the day, Daily Mail reported.

Russian shelling in Ukraine

According to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, two unidentified missiles hit and set on fire a building right next to the TV tower. The fire has been extinguished, local media reported.

Russian forces disable 118 military facilities in Ukraine: Defense Ministry

Ukrainian TV channels stopped broadcasting after a missile hit. Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs said that the backup broadcast of some channels will be launched "in the nearest time".

The office of the President of Ukraine also said the TV tower in Kiev has been hit. The President's office reported that broadcasting equipment has been hit.

The office stated that TV channels will temporarily be unavailable but reserve broadcasting capacities will be deployed as soon as possible. Additionally, several channels can be streamed via YouTube and the Megogo service, it said.

(With inputs from IANS)