Man Throws Grenades Into Ukrainian Town Council Meeting

A deputy of a local Ukrainian town council detonated multiple grenades during a packed meeting earlier today, leading to dozens of injuries and at least one confirmed fatality.

The incident took place in a local government building located in the village of Keretsky, western Zakarpattia Oblast, at around 11:30 A.M. local time. Of the 26 individuals injured during the meeting, reportedly centered on financial matters, at least six are thought to be in critical condition. Although the attacker was initially said to have died, it was later revealed that medics were attempting to resuscitate him. 

Footage of the attack circulated by the Ukrainian police below, captured roughly 90 minutes into a Facebook livestream of the meeting, shows the perpetrator entering the council meeting via a side door.

At the start of the footage, the individual can be seen with his hands kept in his pockets, while a heated discussion unfolds. 

Facebook livestream screencap

Then, nonchalantly, he pulls several grenades out of his pockets, unbeknownst to the others in the room. “May I, may I,” he has been reported as saying before proceeding to throw the grenades into the middle of the room.

Facebook livestream screencap

Shaking due to the resulting explosions, the camera captures debris flying across the room and the chaotic sounds of those present attempting to flee amid billowing smoke. Several individuals can be seen taking shelter beneath a table.

Facebook livestream screencap
Facebook livestream screencap

“At 11:37 [A.M.], a message was received on the 102 line that during the session of the council of the Keretskivska village council of the Mukachevo district, one of the deputies detonated grenades in the building,” the Ukrainian National Police announced in a statement, local media outlet RBC-Ukraine reports.

Visuals of the aftermath of the attack, taken by the Ukrainian police, show officers aiding victims. Notably, the floors of the room appear to be stained with blood.

Ministry of Internal Affairs/Ukrainian Police

Although police have not officially identified the man responsible, he has been named by Ukrainska Pravda and other outlets as a village council member of the Servant of the People party — named after the Ukrainian television series Servant of the People that propelled Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to fame prior to running for office.

It’s been suggested by the Ukrainian news Telegram channel Zakarpattya24 that the man had previously quarreled with members of the village council, notably its chairperson Mykhailo Mushka, over budgetary decisions for 2024. In particular, the individual is said to have opposed increasing the chairperson’s allowances and bonuses for next year in the context of the ongoing war with Russia. Zakarpattya24 also alleges that the man walked out of the meeting at the height of the debate, returning just minutes later to detonate the grenades.

According to Alexey Arestovich, ex-adviser to the Office of the President of Ukraine (2020-2022), the alleged suspect was previously a drone operator for Ukraine’s 128th Mountain Assault Brigade. Having sustained a disability during his time with the brigade, the exact nature of which remains unclear, he has supposedly struggled to access welfare support from the state.

The attack is currently being treated as an act of terrorism, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. “The event is classified under Part 1 of Article 258 (Terrorist Act) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine,” it declared on Twitter/X earlier today. According to a Telegram posting by Viktor Mykyta, the head of the Zakarpattia Oblast State Administration, criminal proceedings in relation to the attack have been opened.

This is a developing story. We will update the post with new information as it becomes available.

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Oliver Parken Avatar

Oliver Parken

Associate Editor

Oli’s background is in the cultural and military history of twentieth-century Britain. Before joining The War Zone team in early in 2022, he was Assistant Lecturer at the University of Kent’s Center for the History of War, Media and Society in the U.K., where he completed his PhD in 2021. Alongside his contributions to The War Zone‘s military history catalog, he also covers contemporary topics and breaking news.