Hostage Crisis Ends After PM Asks People to Watch Film

Ukraine gunman seized bus
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 21, 2020 4:49 PM CDT
Hostage Crisis Ends After PM Asks People to Watch Film
The guman is seen in this photo released by Ukrainian police.   (Ukrainian Police Press Office via AP)

An "unstable" armed man who seized more than a dozen hostages on a long-distance bus in the western Ukraine city of Lutsk was detained late Tuesday after a standoff that lasted for over 12 hours and all hostages were freed unharmed, officials said. At one point during the standoff, the assailant fired his gun and a bullet narrowly missed the first deputy chief of national police, Yevhen Koval. Shortly after, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy granted one of the man's demands and posted a brief video message on his Facebook page to urge Ukrainians to watch the 2005 animal rights documentary Earthlings, the BBC reports. Minutes later, the assailant surrendered to police and authorities said all 13 hostages were freed. Several others, including pregnant woman, were released earlier in the standoff.

Speaking to reporters after the drama ended, Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov described the assailant as an "unstable man who invented his own world.” Police sealed off the center of Lutsk after the assailant, who police said was armed and carrying explosives, took over the bus, the AP reports. At one point, the assailant threw explosives out of a bus window, but no one was hurt. He also fired several shots at a police drone. Authorities identified the man as Maksim Krivosh, a 44-year-old who had reportedly been convicted twice on a wide range of charges, including robbery and fraud, and spent a total of 10 years behind bars. "Human life is the most important value. We haven't lost anyone," Zelenskiy said In a Facebook post.

(Read more Ukraine stories.)

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