Gunman kills 5 people at Ukrainian missile factory, increasing tensions

KRAMATORSK, Ukraine – A member of Ukraine’s National Guard opened fire on an aerospace and rocket factory on Thursday, killing five people, authorities said, while also killing five people. increased anxiety in a region already tense as tensions with Russia rise.

Little is known about the soldier behind the attack or his motives, but given the closely guarded nature of the factory and warnings in recent days that Moscow may be up for action. sabotage as an excuse to invade Ukraine, the shooting attracted immediate attention.

The attack took place in Dnipro, one of the country’s largest cities, more than 100 kilometers from the front line in eastern Ukraine, where troops have been fighting Russia-backed separatists since 2014.

The gunman fled the scene, leading to a sprawling manhunt that lasted several hours before a suspect was apprehended, police said. The man has been identified as Artemiy Ryabchuk, and authorities say he was born in 2001 but have revealed few other details.

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

The investigation took place against the backdrop of a geopolitical struggle.

The Kremlin has been pushing to reduce the Western presence in the area it considers to be within its sphere of influence, redeploying troops to increase pressure and demanding guarantees 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 considered a potential target.

That makes the site about Thursday’s attack of particular interest.

The shooting took place at what was once one of the largest Soviet missile factories. American officials have long viewed the plant, commonly known as Yuzhmash, as poses the risk of weapons proliferation.

The gunman opened fire just before 4 a.m. when soldiers were collecting weapons in a guard house, police said. Authorities said there were 22 people in the room at the time.

Four of those killed were military personnel, and the fifth was a factory employee, police said. Five others were injured.

ONE statement from Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said that the soldier turned his weapon on his colleagues who were guarding the factory, then fled. It said he was fired “for unspecified reasons.”

Later, Ukraine’s Interior Minister, Denys Moosystemrsky, wrote in a Facebook post that police were examining the suspect’s medical records from the time of his enlistment, suggesting the investigation would include the possibility of psychological disorder.

The attack came just hours after the US and NATO provide written answers to Russian demands regarding the presence of Western nations in the countries of the former Soviet Union. The initial reaction from Moscow was cold.

The rocket factory where the shooting took place has long raised concerns among Western officials about the proliferation of rocket technology. After the end of the Cold War, this was one of the first places the United States turned its attention.

In December 1993, after years of negotiationUkraine agrees to give up nuclear weapons. A few months later, teams of Western scientists were sent to the facility to destroy the nuclear weapons that were once pointed at the United States with the public.

But the concern remains.

The engineering library and staff of underpaid rocket scientists have led to concerns that designs for rocket engines developed during the Soviet era could transferred to rogue countries like North Korea.

For Russia, the separation of the factory during the breakup of the Soviet Union from what was once an integrated space and military industry was seen as a symbol of the economic and scientific disruption brought about by the rise of the Soviet Union. the rise of Ukraine as an independent country.

The company currently operates a plant that manufactures civil rockets for satellite launches and has partnered with NASA on designs for resupply missions to the International Space Station. Its rocket models include Antares, Cyclone and Zenit, but it has struggled to stay profitable. Gunman kills 5 people at Ukrainian missile factory, increasing tensions

Fry Electronics Team

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