On Wednesday afternoon, detonation of an unidentified explosive device filled with metal fragments, along with indiscriminate live fire by masked gunmen armed with assault rifles at Crimea’s Kerch Polytechnic College reportedly killed at least 20 people, dozens of others injured, at least 16 in serious condition.
According to Crimea’s government,15 students were killed, including the attacker, six of them minors, and five adults.
Only one gunman was identified. See below. An eyewitness explained what happened as follows, saying:
“There was a blast and then the shooting. We started jumping out of the windows. (School) children’s bodies were lying all over the place.”
Another eyewitness said
“(t)here was a blast. All the glass shattered. (T)hen armed people started running around, opening doors and shooting at everyone.”
A survivor said
“(m)y friend was killed right in front of me. I saw her fall and simply stop moving. I saw boys dropping dead and blood spilling around.”
Another student said
“(w)e were standing outside with friends. Then there was an explosion. All the windows blasted out. We ran, climbed over the fence. There were more explosions or some similar noise. We just ran as far as we could.”
The blast reportedly happened on the targeted building’s ground floor, shootings on the second floor. How multiple gunmen with assault rifles weren’t spotted right away before opening fire wasn’t explained so far.
According to Russia’s Investigative Committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko,
“(i)nvestigators have promptly established the identity of a young man who had arrived at the college immediately before the incident and who, proceeding from a video recording, was holding a rifle in his hand.”
“He turned out to be Vladislav Roslyakov, a fourth-year student from the college. His body with a gunshot wound was found in one of the college’s rooms.”
The identity of other gunmen involved are unknown so far. Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s Federal Security Service and other agencies to fully investigate what happened and determine responsible parties.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said
“(w)e are expecting information on this from the competent bodies.”
According to Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov, the identified gunman “acted alone,” adding “there is no other data.” His account conflicts with eyewitness saying multiple masked gunmen were involved.
Following the incident, Kerch and Crimea are on high alert, wary of further incidents.
Kerch Polytechnic College’s director said multiple gunmen shot students and teachers, dead and wounded bodies strewn throughout the area attacked.
Russian authorities initially called the incident a terrorist attack, later changing it to multiple homicides.
If a number of masked gunmen were involved as eyewitnesses and the college’s director claim, clearly the initial classification was accurate.
Russian investigators will likely determine accountability for what happened. It’s unknown if it was a Kiev provocation.
Ukrainian forces increased attacks on Donbass in recent days, likely orchestrated by Washington. Is the Crimean incident connected to Kiev aggression?
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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Featured image is from Sputniknews.