Friday, May 20, 2022
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Ukraine: Five dead after soldier opens fire on security guards at military factory

A Ukrainian soldier killed five people and wounded five others after opening fire on security guards at a military factory in the centre of the country, police have confirmed.

The shooting took place on Thursday morning at the Pivdenmash missile factory in Dnipro as weapons were being issued. The victims included four servicemen and one civilian woman.

Police are looking for the soldier, who is now on the run. He has a Kalashnikov and 200 cartridges, they added.

It is not yet clear what prompted the attack.

In a post on social media, deputy Ukrainian interior minister Anton Gerashchenko said: “First of all, the investigation will face the question – what was the motive for committing such a terrible crime? First of all, the question of whether the serviceman faced a psychological pressure in the team will be studied.”

The incident comes amid heightened tensions between Ukraine and Russia, which has 127,000 troops stationed near the Ukrainian border, leading to fears of a potential incursion.

Although the Kremlin denies suggestions it will invade its neighbour, Russia has staged more land and naval military drills this week and has sent more soldiers and fighter planes to Belarus, whose southern border lies close to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

Ukrainian leaders have urged the public to remain calm, claiming that Moscow hopes to destabilise the country through its nearby military presence.

Foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Wednesday that Russia does not current have enough forces in the region to launch a “large-scale offensive”. However, he added that this could change.

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