Ukraine says foiled bombing of Kiev apartment block
Ukraine's security services said Thursday they had detained four members of a pro-Russian group suspected of plotting to blow up a block of flats in Kiev.
“They planned to blow up a building in Obolon and were caught red-handed,” Olena Gitlyanska, spokeswoman for the SBU security services, told AFP, referring to a large residential area in northern Kiev.
The four men resisted arrest and threw a hand grenade at special forces as they were seized, the SBU said in a statement.
The SBU agents fired back, wounding one of the suspects in the leg.
The targetted block of flats had on the ground floor a centre collecting public donations for the armed forces battling pro-Russian separatists in the east and the men were seized close to the centre.
Donation centres accept financial contributions as well as clothing, tents and other items for soldiers, including children’s letters and drawings.
The men arrested are all Ukrainian citizens, although the leader was born in Russia, the SBU spokeswoman said.
The group’s leader planned to flee after the planned attack to Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014, the SBU said.
Ukraine has regularly accused Russia of attempting to destabilise the situation in the country as the conflict in the east has claimed more than 6,800 lives since April last year.
Kiev and the West say Russia provides military support for the rebels, which Moscow denies.
The foiled attack came after street battles between hundreds of protesters and police broke out in the Ukrainian capital Monday as lawmakers gave initial approval to legislation granting more autonomy to the rebel-held eastern regions.
As a result of the clashes three members of the National Guard were killed and more than 140 people wounded.
Authorities blamed ultra-nationalists, who oppose the controversial legislation, for the unrest.