Ukraine guardsman kills 5, wounds more in shooting at factory

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Ukraine guardsman kills 5, wounds more in shooting at factory

A conscript soldier in Ukraine’s National Guard was arrested Thursday after he opened fire in a machine factory in the east of the country, killing five people and wounding five more, authorities said.

Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said in a statement that the guardsman, identified as 21-year-old Artemiy Ryabchuk, shot at a group of his colleagues at the facility in the city of Dnipro at around 3:40 a.m. local time while weapons were being distributed.

Four servicemen and one civilian woman were killed. The suspect reportedly fled with a weapon, but was later apprehended.

Video of Ryabchuk’s arrest showed the suspect lying face-down on the ground with his hands behind his head as officials approached to detain him. 

The motive behind the shooting is not yet known. 

Artyom Ryabchyuk, 20, opening fire on his colleagues
Artyom Ryabchyuk allegedly opened fire on his colleagues.
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a member of the national guard identified as Artemy Ryabchuk, during his arrest in the city of Dnipro after he allegedly killed five people in a shooting at an aerospace factory
Artemy Ryabchuk reportedly fled with a weapon, but was later apprehended.
STR/UKRAINE INTERIOR MINISTRY/AFP via Getty Images

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky offered “sincere condolences” to family members of the victims Thursday and ordered that “any help needed for the loved ones of the victims of this horrific crime should be provided immediately.”

Zelensky added that doctors are “fighting for the lives of the wounded,” and called the shooting “terrible.” 

More than 40 guards and police officers have since volunteered to give blood for the injured victims, the Interior Ministry said. 

“This is how military and law enforcement decided to help comrades who suffered significant blood loss from fire injuries at a Southern Automobile Plant,” the ministry said in a Facebook post

One of the wounded — a woman — is in severe condition. 

Zelensky said he expected law enforcement officials to provide updates on the shooting later Thursday, adding that why and how it happened should be “analyzed in maximum detail.”

Ukrainian police officers detain a National Guard soldier, named by the Interior Ministry as Artem Ryabchuk, on suspicion of murdering people at a military factory in the Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine, January 27, 2022.
Ukrainian police officers detain a National Guard soldier on suspicion of murdering people at a military factory in Ukraine, January 27, 2022.
Press Service of the National Police of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS

“Mandatory personnel conclusions should be drawn in the near future,” the president said in a statement posted to Facebook

Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky has said a commission will be put together to investigate the actions that led up to the shooting. 

According to the BBC, the suspect was overheard describing how he killed the victims, and reportedly said he shot a woman in the head after she refused to open a door in order for him to leave the factory. 

the arrest of Artemy Ryabchuk in Dnipro
A commission will be put together to investigate the actions that led up to the shooting. 
STR/UKRAINIAN MINISTRY OF INTERNAL A/AFP via Getty Images

Thursday’s shooting comes amid growing tensions in Eastern Europe as Russia looks to block Ukraine from joining NATO. While the US and NATO have publicly rejected the demand, defending the alliance’s “open door” policy, Russia has massed up to 120,000 forces along the border of Ukraine. 

Many in the West fear Moscow will invade and the US has threatened “severe” economic sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin if he does. 

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