Article by: Alya Shandra
On December 19, members of the Ukrainian SBU have arrested a suspected saboteur in central Kyiv that, acting under instructions of her Russian superiors, had transported a powerful bomb from Luhansk under control of Russian-backed militants from the so-called “Luhansk People’s Republic.” She was picked up in Kyiv’s busy center right after she left the handbag with a bomb inside, as Markian Lubkivsky, senior adviser to the SBU, reported on his fb page.
The SBU published an interview with the woman on their youtube channel.
The terrorist act was staged to have happened on Kyiv’s central square, Maidan Nezalezhnosti, in a place with the maximum number of pedestrians. The act is especially cynical since December 19 is day when St.Nicholas’s day, a special day for children, is celebrated in Ukraine, and streets are full with children going to celebrations with their parents.
The 30-year old woman got under surveillance of the SBU’s counterintelligence around three weeks ago, as the contact of a employee of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate with the callsign “Konstantin,” who instructed every her move. Her special task was to “cause some real discomfort to dill” [dill is a derogatory word Russians use for Ukrainians]. She arrived to Kyiv on December 17 on a regular bus from Luhansk. The self-made bomb was masked as a woman’s handbag. At the specified time, the woman from Luhansk attempted to leave the bag in the specified location, at which time she was arrested by the counterintelligence.
Inside the bag was a remote controlled explosive device enhanced with metal plates, and a mechanism that detonated the bomb when the bag was opened. The explosive power of the bomb equaled that of 3 kg TNT equivalent. However, the casing that covered the bomb at its disposal and could nominally withstand 5 kg TNT was blown into pieces, meaning that the bomb was even more potent.
The arrested pleaded guilty, urgent investigations are underway. This attempt at a terrorist attack is something new for Ukraine, and especially since it was coordinated from a foreign country, which qualifies it as international terrorism. In light of the Ukrainian Parliament’s movements towards finally legalizing the status of the self-proclaimed “republics” in Ukraine’s East as terrorist organizations, this incident serves as more proof that the so-called “LNR” and “DNR” serve as a gateway for Russia’s invasion into Ukraine.