A citizen of Belarus has been arrested in Ukraine’s Odessa on suspicion of preparing to carry out a car bombing attack in the city on May 18, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) reported.
SBU described the man, a certain Shabalin, as an ‘activist of a radical pro-Russian organization’ who had conspired with three officers of a private security company to blow up a car during an anti-government protest in Kulikovo Field Square on Sunday. The officers, who maintained ‘hidden visual observation’ of the square, have also been arrested.
Criminal proceedings have been instituted over the alleged plot.
Mr Shabalin confessed to taking part in deadly clashes in Odessa on May 2, the SBU said. He reportedly established and maintained contacts with pro-Russian separatist leaders, who paid him to set up a criminal group in the Luhansk province to disrupt the presidential election scheduled for May 25. He was also tasked with creating the necessary conditions for separatists to stay in Odessa to destabilize the situation in the province, the report said.