Thu, 24 Sep 2020

KYIV -- Ukrainian police have detained a man who held a woman hostage in a Kyiv bank for hours, threatening to detonate an explosive device that he said was in his backpack.

Police managed to detain the man after allowing him to talk to journalists inside Kyiv's Universal Bank. Officials confirmed after the man was detained that he did in fact have explosives.

Deputy Interior Minister Anton Herashchenko identified the perpetrator as Suhrob Karimov, a 32-year-old Uzbek citizen.

The man said that he is 'a holy spirit' and 'ordered' to 'arrest all presidents of the world.'

It was Ukraine's third hostage incident in recent weeks.

In the first such incident, a man in Ukraine's northwestern city of Lutsk on July 21 held 13 people hostage inside a bus with a firearm and explosives for 12 hours before he was apprehended by security forces.

The perpetrator was later identified as 44-year-old Maksym Kryvosh, a native of the city of Dubno and a resident of Lutsk.

According to the police, Kryvosh ranted against 'the system' in his negotiations, called Ukraine's businesspeople and officials 'terrorists,' and demanded that people watch the 2005 documentary film Earthlings about the suffering endured by animals at farms, research labs, and other locations.

In response, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy posted a short video on Facebook recommending that people watch the documentary. The video was removed from Facebook right after Kryvosh was detained. Nobody was hurt in the 12-hour ordeal.

A few days later, a criminal suspect brandishing a hand grenade forced a senior police officer to drive him for hours through the countryside, chased by police.

More than six hours after the pursuit began, the man left his hostage in the car and fled into a forest. Authorities located that suspect a week later and shot him dead on August 1, state media reported.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, and dpa

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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