Ukraine Live Day 462: Unidentified Local Gunman Kills 2, Takes 2 Hostage in Kharkiv Region

May 25, 2015
Kharkiv highway to Kiev closed at Lyubotina after gunman kills 2, takes 2 hostage, May 25, 2015. Photo by Slava Mavrichev/Nadzvichayni Novini

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Unidentified Local Gunman Kills 2, Takes 2 Hostage in Kharkiv Region

In Kharkiv region, a man has shot two people on a highway and taken two hostages at a gas station, reports.

An unidentifed man in Lyubotina in Kharkiv Region has shot two people, after which he fled to the village of Korotich, where he has seized two hostages at a gas station.

The Kharkiv Region Interior Ministry (police) report that they received a call at 14:00 Kiev time.

According to preliminary information, the man opened fire from a carbine rifle, killing two people. His  name has not been publicized but he has been identified as a 48-year-old local resident.

The man fled the murder scene in a VAZ-99 automobile to a gas station in Korotich, where he remains with the two hostages. Police are trying to talk him into releasing the hostages.

A local journalist, Slava Mamrichev, said on his Facebook page that the highway is closed in Lyubotina from Kharkiv to Kiev. reported at 15:58 that the man was still holding the hostages at the gas station which can be seen in the background of this photo. originally reported that two men were involved in the incident but it appears there is just one. said the hostage-taker’s demands were not known.

Photo by Dmitry Bayevsky/

It is not known whether this incident is related to an attack by the Russian-backed militants or an unrelated local affair.

In a separate incident, a veteran of the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] was arrested after he threw a grenade at a car with people in it, Unian reported earlier today.

In Kupyansk, Kharkiv Region, a local man, age 43 whose name was not given, a former ATO member threw the grenade, the Kharkiv Region Interior Ministry reported. A 25-year-old woman reported that the grenade had been thrown at the car in which she and her husband and an acquaintance were traveling.  The grenade went threw an open window, but didn’t explode so no one was hurt.

Police confiscated another grenade from the man’s home. He is currently being held in the temporary holding cell at the Kupyansk police precinct.

On May 14 in Dnepropetrovsk, a prominent businessman and owner of a Lexus dealership was shot dead, reported.

The victim, age 46, whose name was not revealed, was killed by a man who waited for him at his own garage on Kazakova Street in Oktybrsky District and shot him dead with four bullets.

A woman who happened to witness the killing said that when the victim got out of his car and began opening the garage door, the killer jumped out and shot him. He managed to pick up all the bullet casings from the scene, so that the weapon used is not known, although it was likely a pistol.

The incidents have caused some people to fear a return to the 1990s, when mafia wars led to the murders of numerous business people.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick