Sunday, June 4, 2023

Armed shooter kills 5 at Ukrainian missile factory, escalating tensions

KRAMATORSK, Ukraine — On Thursday, a member of the Ukrainian National Guard opened fire on an aerospace and missile factory, killing five people, authorities said, raising alarm in a region already on pins and needles due to rising tensions with Russia. .

Little was known about the soldier behind the attack or his motives, but given the nature of the heavily guarded factory and warnings in recent days that Moscow might orchestrate an act of sabotage as a pretext to invade Ukraine, the shooting immediately attracted attention.

The attack took place in Dnipro, one of the country’s largest cities, more than 100 miles from the war front in eastern Ukraine, where the military has been fighting pro-Russian separatists since 2014.

According to police, the gunman fled the scene, leading to a lengthy manhunt that lasted several hours before the suspect was taken into custody. The man was identified as Artemy Ryabchuk, and authorities said he was born in 2001, but released several other details.

Credit…Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, via Agence France-Presse – Getty Images

The investigation took place against the backdrop of geopolitical struggles.

The Kremlin is pushing to reduce the Western presence in the region it believes is in its sphere of influence, redeploying troops to increase pressure and demanding assurances that NATO will not allow Ukraine to become a member. Earlier this month, the United States said Russia had sent intelligence agents and saboteurs to eastern Ukraine to carry out a provocation, with industrial infrastructure seen as a potential target.

This made the site of Thursday’s attack particularly interesting.

The shooting took place at one of the largest rocket factories in the Soviet Union. US officials have long believed that the plant, commonly known as Yuzhmash, poses a weapons proliferation threat.

Ukrainian police said the militant opened fire shortly before 4 a.m., when soldiers were collecting weapons in a guardhouse. Authorities said there were 22 people in the room at the time.

Police said four of the dead were soldiers and the fifth was a factory worker. Another five people were injured.

The statement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine says that the serviceman pointed a weapon at colleagues who were guarding the plant, and then fled. It said that he fired “for unspecified reasons.”

Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky later wrote in a Facebook post that police were examining the suspect’s medical records from the time he was drafted into the military, suggesting that the investigation would include the possibility of him having a psychological disorder.

The attack comes just hours after the United States and NATO provided written responses to Russian demands for a Western presence in the former Soviet republics. Moscow’s initial reaction was cold.

The rocket factory where the shooting took place has long been a concern for Western officials concerned about the proliferation of rocket technology. After the end of the Cold War, it was one of the first places the United States took notice of.

In December 1993, after years of negotiations, Ukraine agreed to give up its nuclear weapons. A few months later, teams of Western scientists were sent to the site to work with the people to destroy nuclear weapons that had once been aimed at the United States.

But the concerns remained.

Its technical libraries and aging cadre of underpaid rocket scientists have raised concerns that rocket engine designs developed during the Soviet period could be handed over to rogue states like North Korea.

For Russia, the separation of the plant during the collapse of the USSR from what had been a combined space and military industry was seen as symbolic of the economic and scientific upheaval brought about by Ukraine’s emergence as an independent country.

The company, which now runs the plant, manufactures civilian rockets to launch satellites and is partnering with NASA on resupply mission projects at the International Space Station. Its rocket models include Antares, Cyclone and Zenit, but it has struggled to remain profitable.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
Latest news
Related news


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here