Armed Man Hijacks Bus in Ukraine

  • The man published a post on social networks about his dissatisfaction with the system.
  • Police are negotiating and trying to restrict civilian access to the city center.
  • President Zelensky wrote on Facebook that he "keeps the course of events under personal control."

In the center of Lutsk on Tuesday morning, an armed man hijacked a bus with about 10 hostages. He had an explosive device and a weapon, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine on Facebook. It is unknown at this time whether there were any injuries or damage to the bus.

Lutsk is a city on the Styr River in northwestern Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Volyn Oblast (province) and the administrative center of the surrounding Lutsk Raion (district) within the oblast, though it is not a part of the raion.

Everything is being done to resolve the situation without casualties, said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. According to the head of the Volyn regional police, Yuri Kroshko, earlier the man published a post on social networks about his dissatisfaction with the system. The attacker did not put forward specific demands or claims.

Police are negotiating and trying to restrict civilian access to the city center. At the same time, the press service of the SBU Office in the Volyn region clarified that the Berestechko-Krasylivka bus, which, according to preliminary data, contains about 10 hostages, was seized, Interfax-Ukraine reports.

“The man does not come into contact with security forces, only he periodically fires shots. Also, according to preliminary information, there is an explosive device in the bus,” the agency quoted a spokesman for the special services as saying. The Security Service of Ukraine has introduced the plan to save the hostages.

The Criminal Investigation Department of the National Police of Ukraine reported on its Telegram channel that the man who seized the bus was “undergoing psychiatric treatment.” The agency added that the curtains of the bus were closed and one of the windows was broken. “The criminal fired two shots at the police, after which the attacker threw a grenade from the bus,” police said.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the operational plan “Hostage” is entered in the area. The territory of the city center is blocked to ensure the safety of citizens. All police services are working on the spot.

Volyn Oblast is an oblast (province) in northwestern Ukraine. Its administrative center is Lutsk.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs also reported that the head of the ministry Arsen Avakov “urgently flew to Lutsk for personal coordination of actions of units from the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the event of an emergency.”

“Law enforcement officers are doing everything necessary to ensure that this crisis ends with the release of hostages,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement. The priority is a dialogue with the hostage-taker.”

The Security Service of Ukraine urged Lutsk residents to stay at home or at work in connection with the situation with the hostage-taking on a bus in the city center. The Volyn Oblast Police opened a criminal case under Part 2 of Article 147 of the Criminal Code (hostage-taking).

President Zelensky wrote on Facebook that he “keeps the course of events under personal control.” According to him, everything is being done to resolve the situation without casualties.

Eyewitness Vitalik Troszyk told reporters “there is increased security in the area. The police ask people to keep their distance, go behind the houses,” he said.

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Joyce Davis

My history goes back to 2002 and I  worked as a reporter, interviewer, news editor, copy editor, managing editor, newsletter founder, almanac profiler, and news radio broadcaster.

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