Hostage crisis in Ukraine: Lutsk police end deadlock

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AFP

Legend
The man was arrested after a siege lasting several hours


A standoff in Ukraine has ended with security forces freeing 13 hostages from a bus and arresting the gunman after hours of talks, officials said.

Footage showed the gunman lying on the ground after his arrest in the city of Lutsk, while video footage showed the hostages leaving the bus.

The man originally held 16 people, but released three shortly before officers moved in.

All the hostages would be unharmed.

The man was named by police Maksym Kryvosh, 44, who has already been sentenced.

Police said earlier that she was the target of gunfire and that a grenade was thrown, although it did not explode.

One of the gunman’s claims was that senior politicians declare themselves terrorists.

“Lutsk. Everyone is fine, ”Interior Minister Arsen Avakov (in Russian) tweeted after the end of the siege.

Mr. Avakov was in Lutsk to conduct negotiations with the shooter.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also spoke with the hostage taker, which his spokesman Yuliya Mendel said led to the release of the first three hostages.

Mr Zelensky posted a brief video on his Facebook page in which he said in Russian the words: “Everyone should watch the 2005 Earthlings movie”. Another of the hostage taker’s requests was for the president to encourage people to watch the animal rights documentary made in Hollywood.

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EPA

Legend

The gunman freed three of the hostages before the siege was over


However, he deleted the video after the siege was over.

Previously, footage from the scene showed agents from the anti-terrorism SBU security services surrounding the bus. Police said two shots were fired from it and the man also claimed to have explosives.

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AFP

Legend

Kryvosh has multiple convictions for fraud and illegal handling of weapons


“The attacker threw a grenade from the bus, which fortunately did not explode,” a statement read.

According to the attorney general’s office, the gunman said he placed an explosive device in a public place in the city that could detonate from a distance.

Police cordoned off the city center and told residents not to leave their homes or offices.

It was not clear if a device had been found.

Officials said Kryvosh previously spent around 10 years in prison on fraud and illegal handling of weapons convictions.

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