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Conscript Shoots Dead 4 Fellow Soldiers, 1 Civilian in Ukraine

The alleged shooter Ryabchuk was detained on Thursday morning in the Dnipropetrovsk region. @dp.informator.ua

A conscript in Ukraine’s National Guard shot and killed five people at an aerospace plant in the eastern city of Dnipro, authorities said Thursday.

Police said the man, identified as 21-year-old Artemiy Ryabchuk, opened fire in the early hours at the Pivdenmash aeronautics and defense plant he was tasked with guarding, killing four fellow soldiers and one civilian woman. 

Five others were hospitalized with injuries, according to Anton Herashchenko, adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry. He said three of them, including a female National Guard member, are in critical condition.

Security footage shared by Ukraine’s Strana.ua news website showed the culprit shooting two fellow soldiers at point-blank range, then packing ammunition into a backpack from a storage cabinet and fleeing. 

Dashcam footage shared by the Xydessa social media channel showed a uniformed man hitching a ride on a dark and empty street.

Ryabchuk was detained on Thursday morning in the Dnipropetrovsk region, Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky said.

“He will bear the strictest responsibility established by law,” Monastyrsky wrote in a Facebook post.

Ukraine’s National Bureau of Investigation later told reporters that Ryabchuk turned himself in to the police by asking a passerby to inform them of his whereabouts, according to Interfax Ukraine.

Ryabchuk faces between 10 years and life in prison if found guilty of premeditated murder, the National Bureau of Investigation said.

Monastyrsky added that the bureau will set up a commission to establish the alleged killer’s motives and the circumstances that allowed him to pass the military’s medical commission.

The bureau said it has opened a criminal case into the National Guard’s command on charges of negligence that carries a prison sentence of five to seven years.

“Officials treated military service carelessly when organizing measures to protect important state facilities, critical infrastructure and state authorities” at a time of increased tensions with Russia, the investigative body said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy expressed condolences to the victims’ families and ordered a detailed probe into the shooting and “how it became possible.”

“I expect law enforcement officers to fully inform the public about all the circumstances of the crime,” Zelenskyy said in a message posted on his Telegram channel.

“The killer’s motives, how this became possible — everything should be analyzed in as much detail as possible and mandatory personnel-related conclusions should be made in the near future,” he added.

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