Ukrainian police announced on Thursday that they had arrested a National Guard soldier suspected of having killed five people in a factory before fleeing with his service weapon.
“Artem Ryabtchouk has just been arrested by police officers in the Dnipropetrovsk region”, in the center of the country, Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky wrote on Facebook.
This soldier is suspected of having killed, on the night of Wednesday to Thursday, four comrades and a civilian after receiving his weapon, a Kalashnikov assault rifle, to carry out a guard shift in a factory of the Yuzhmash group in the city from Dnipro. This company manufactures space rockets and launchers, but also missiles, vehicles and industrial or agricultural tools.
The authorities quickly released a photo of the young man in uniform and shaved head, identifying him as Artemi Riabtchouk, born in 2001 and from the coastal region of Odessa.
A special operation had been launched in Dnipro, a city in the center of the country, and in the surrounding region to find him.
The reasons for his action are currently unknown.
Shootings in military units in the former USSR are a recurring phenomenon, often due to hazing, which has long been one of the most serious problems in these countries, especially in Russia, although the situation has improved in recent years. years. These hazings, sometimes very violent, can also be the cause of suicides.
In February 2018, four Ukrainian soldiers were killed by two other members of the army in the east of the country, explaining their gesture by “hazing”.
Also in Ukraine, similar facts may have also concerned veterans of the Eastern Front where the Ukrainian army has been fighting since 2014 pro-Russian separatists, sponsored by Russia, and who have founded two self-proclaimed republics.
In August 2021, the Ukrainian police had arrested a veteran of this same Donbass war, apparently a lunatic who threatened to explode with a grenade in the entrance to the government headquarters in Kiev.
More generally, armed incidents have become more common in Ukraine, with weapons flowing more freely into the country from the conflict zone. In July 2020, an armed maniac took a bus hostage for twelve hours with 13 passengers.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, a former actor, accepted a bizarre request from the kidnapper to resolve the crisis: he posted a video on Facebook recommending watching a documentary about animal abuse.
Ukraine is currently at the heart of a Russian-Western geostrategic crisis, Washington accusing Moscow of wanting to invade its neighbor, while the Russians say they are threatened by NATO’s ambitions on its borders.