KIEV, July 21. /TASS/. The terrorist who took a passenger bus hostage in Ukraine’s Lutsk, throws imitation explosives from the windows and seeks to take down a police drone that circles around the scene.
The Ukrainian media published a video footage of the terrorist trying to take down the drone by shooting from the bus’s windows. So far, he was unsuccessful. In another footage, multiple explosions can be heard near the bust. Deputy Minister of the Interior of Ukraine Anton Geraschenko speculated that these could be imitation explosives, because they produce no shrapnel.
He admitted that the law enforcement was unable to locate the possible remotely controlled explosive device, which the perpetrator claimed earlier.
"We do not have a confirmation that the second explosive device, which he can control remotely, actually exists. We have no information about the device’s location, it has only been said that the device exists. We currently seek to trace this perpetrator, hoping to discover where such device may be," the official said.
Geraschenko disclosed that the terrorist has been preventing food and water from being delivered to the hostages for the entire day. He also prohibits the hostages from leaving the bus to relieve themselves. According to Deputy Minister, there are pregnant women among the hostages.
Earlier, Minister of the Interior Arsen Avakov disclosed that the hostages were in a "normal" state.
"The people are in a normal state, according to [the terrorist] and to one hostage that we were able to talk to," Avakov said, adding that he hopes that the situation will be resolved "one way or another" soon.
Avakov disclosed that the law enforcement was able to establish contact with the terrorist and engage in negotiations.
"We have a contact with the man who took hostages. We are already talking to him, we negotiate," he said, adding that the law enforcement also found and contacted the terrorist’s relatives.
"We talked to the relatives, to the spouse, to his friends. We try all methods to resolve this peacefully," he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, a man captured a bus with 10 to 20 passengers onboard. The man who named himself Maksim Plohoy is believed to be armed with grenades and an automatic weapon. The terrorist reported the capture to the police himself and added that he planted "a mine that can detonate at a crowded place."
A local news agency reported citing its sources that Maksim Plohoy (Maksim the Bad) is actually a pseudonym, and the real name of the terrorist is Maksim Krivosh. According to media reports, the man served time in prison before and underwent forced psychiatric treatment. However, the latter statement was later debunked by Avakov.
Since the beginning of the situation, the terrorist opened fire towards the law enforcement officers twice and threw a grenade that failed to explode. Residents of the nearby houses were evacuated.