Ukrainian special forces have detained with a man who claimed to have an explosive device and was holed up in a Kiev business center, according to officials.
The unidentified man earlier walked into a bank located in the city’s Leonardo business center and announced that he had a bomb in his backpack. He ordered a bank employee to call the police, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Anton Gerashchenko said.
He stressed that the police were keen to negotiate with the man to bring an end to the standoff. While the bank employees had fled the building, their boss had chosen to remain inside, Gerashchenko claimed, later clarifying that he was sharing preliminary information that had not been verified.
“In any case, we would describe this as a terrorist act,” he added.
As law enforcement agents urged the man to surrender, people have been asked to avoid the area.
Armored vehicles were brought up to the place of the special operation near the Kiev bank.
The Ukrainian authorities have identified the suspect, who is believed to be an 32-year-old Uzbekistan citizen.
Gerashchenko added that the situation appeared to mirror an incident last month in the western city of Lutsk, in which a gunman took around 20 hostages. He later freed his captives, after President Volodymyr Zelensky complied with his demand to publicly endorse “Earthlings,” a 2005 American documentary narrated by Joaquin Phoenix about humanity’s use of animals as pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and for scientific research. Police were then able to successfully disarm and arrest the hostage-taker.
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