They have also just announced that one of the suspects in the Kerch college terrorist attack has been identified as a 22-year old student. According to Russian authorities, he committed suicide after killing 18 people and injuring dozens with gunfire and the bomb. However, official reports now seem to conflict, there must be more than one suspect, as witnesses interviewed on the scene by Russia Today say they saw multiple men wearing black ski-masks (balaclavas) storming into the campus with guns, opening fire on students.
Witnesses have said armed men, wearing balaclavas, opened fire at students. Russian health authorities said most of the victims were underage students. The accompanying bomb blast took place in the city of Kerch, which is the entry point for a new 19km bridge linking Crimea to Russia.
The Russian based Investigative Committee has opened a criminal investigation into the terror attack. The agency said the preliminary on-site investigation revealed that the improvised explosive device was filled with shrapnel.
Investigators say they have now begun interviewing eyewitnesses and scrutinizing CCTV footage.
On local television, the head of the college described an armed rampage with attackers gunning down pupils and teachers, leaving bodies strewn throughout the building. At least one attacker blew himself or herself up, the school director said.
Russia’s Investigative Committee declared the assault a terrorist attack and said the explosive device was laced with metal strips that acted as shrapnel when it was detonated.
The Russian national anti-terrorism committee, a government body, said the explosion at a polytechnic was caused by an “unidentified explosive device”, according to Russia’s Tass state news agency.
FRN will be following this story, and is particularly interested in the investigation, and Russian reporting, on the incident, given the unclear reportage in which both an armed group in ski masks opened fire on students, but other reports focus chiefly on the bomb blast and the suicide of (one of) the suspects.
It is unknown at this time if any organizations have taken responsibility for the attack. The fates of the armed gunmen are also at this time unknown. FRN has no information on whether this was a Ukrainian provocation.
Overall, the skirmishes between the forces of the Donetsk Republic and Ukrainian Armed Forces have increased, with the UAF wantonly attacking settlements and civilians within the areas under the governance of the the DPR. These are seen by many Russian experts as pre-election provocations, aimed at shifting focus in Ukraine away from Poroshenko’s policies, and towards the conflict in the east of the war-torn country.
At this time, there is no information about the possible connection between these phenomenon.