Grenades detonated in heated Ukrainian council meeting

Terrifying video shows the moment a Ukrainian politician casually detonated multiple grenades during a heated village council meeting Friday, injuring at least 26 people in what is being investigated as an act of terrorism.

The incident occurred about 90 minutes into a lifestreamed meeting in the Keretsky Village Council in Ukraine’s Western Zakarpattia region Friday, the New York Post reports.

A short clip shared by the Ukrainian National Police shows a man — later identified as deputy Serhiy Batryn, a member of Ukraine’s parliament — entering the council headquarters during the debate about finances.

“May I speak?” he finally asks — before removing at least three hand grenades from his jacket pockets and tossing them on the floor.

Stunned people jump up and duck for cover as the explosives go off with loud bangs and flashes, filling the council chamber with thick smoke and screams of agony.

“I can’t walk!” a woman’s anguished voice is heard crying out in Ukrainian during the chaos.

Photos taken after the blast showed puddles of blood on the floor and overturned furniture.

The explosion injured 26 people, six of whom were hospitalised in serious condition, according to officials.

Ukraine’s Security Service is investigating the explosions as an act of terrorism.

Ms Batryn was initially said to have been killed, but police later clarified that doctors were trying to save his life.

Friday’s council session was held to approve the village’s budget for 2024, but Mr Batryn, a deputy from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Servant of the People Party, argued that he and his colleagues should first give a full report on the 2023 budget before moving on to next year’s.

Mr Batryn also had a longstanding feud with village chief Mikhail Mushka, reported the news Telegram channel Zakarpattya24.

Mr Batryn had opposed a proposal to allocate a 50 per cent raise and a monthly bonus for Mushka during the war, and had voted against deeming the village chief’s job performance satisfactory.

At the height of the budget debate, Batryn walked out of the council headquarters and returned less than three minutes later to detonate the grenades.

The national police has opened a criminal case on a charge of illegal use of weapons and munitions.

This article originally appeared in the New York Post and has been reproduced with permission.

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