The aftermath of the first blast.
At least 27 people were wounded on Friday in a series of blasts in Dnipropetrovsk, a city in central Ukraine. Our Observer, who was there at the moment of the explosions, told us what he saw.
The first blast, which took place before noon near a tram station, was caused by an explosive device placed in a rubbish bin. A second explosion, near a movie theatre, was reported moments later. Two more blasts in the city centre followed.
Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych described the blasts as “yet another challenge for us, for the entire nation”. No suspects have yet been identified, but prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation, classifying the explosions as an “act of terrorism”. Ukraine is set to host the Euro 2012 football championship in six weeks.
Dnipropetrovsk is the birthplace of former Ukrainian prime minister and opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, who is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for of abuse of office. Tymoshenko’s trial was widely criticised by Western powers for being politically motivated. According to the Associated Press, Tymoshenko’s opposition party has accused the government of orchestrating the attacks in a bid to deflect attention form allegations the detained leader had been abused in prison.
Video filmed after the first blast. Published on YouTube by Dmitry Dvorsky.
"Bricks were flung over dozens of metres"
Dmitriy Golodyuk (@DGolodyuk) was headed in the direction of the tram stop at the moment of the blast.
When the first explosion went off, I was walking towards the exact place it had hit. As I moved closer, I noticed that debris was flying in every direction. A police officer asked me to identify myself as a witness, and I had to describe everything I had seen.
Photo taken by our Observer a few seconds after the blast.I stayed in the area for a few moments longer, listening to music on my headphones. Then there was another blast. Bricks were flung over dozens of metres and pieces of roofing flew into the air. It felt like an earthquake had shaken the ground, accompanied by a deafening sound."I saw armoured tanks driving down the streets"Police began patrolling the area. They checked out all the city rubbish bins and searched everyone in the vicinity, even looking in plastic bags lying on the ground. I saw armoured trucks driving down the streets.Photo taken early Friday afternoon in Dnipropetrovsk. Posted on YouTube by Demien87.
There was nothing to foreshadow the attacks. It was a Friday just like any other. People were on their way to work, others were just out for a walk in the sun. When the explosions happened, there was no mass reaction of panic. Everyone appeared to be in a state of shock. People avoided the city’s main arteries as they hurried home.