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4 Aug, 2021 07:55

Unknown assailant threatens to detonate GRENADE in Ukrainian cabinet building as security officers plead with him to stand down

A dramatic standoff unfolded on Wednesday outside a Ukrainian government building in the capital, Kiev, when a man wielding what appeared to be a grenade threatened staff before later being detained by the security services.

In a video shared from the scene, the unknown individual can be seen holding what was described as an explosive device, as authorities repeatedly ask him to stand down. Passersby, presumed to be government employees or visitors, can be seen pushing past him to enter the building, apparently unconcerned by the threat.

Reporting on the incident, Ukraine 24 TV cited reports that “a man entered the cabinet with a grenade and said the building had been seized. He aggressively threatened to detonate a grenade and said that he would not get out of there alive and was ready to serve a decade in prison.”

Armed police closed roads around the building and announced shortly afterwards that the assailant had been detained. Local media named him as Vladimir Prokhnich, originally from Irpen, just outside the capital. He had reportedly previously served with units fighting breakaway militias in the Donbass region during the bloody civil war that began in 2014.

A number of sources state that he had been a member of the Aidar volunteer battalion, which has faced long-standing allegations of violence against civilians and war crimes from groups like Amnesty International. Prokhnich was reportedly awarded the Order of Courage by former President Petro Poroshenko in 2015.

The tense stand-off comes just a day after the first anniversary of a hostage situation at a bank in the capital. Police detained an Uzbek national who had threatened to detonate a bomb in the building, criticizing authorities and identifying himself as “the Holy Spirit, Lord God.”

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