KIEV (Reuters) – A Ukrainian lawmaker wounded in an explosion in Kiev that killed two people blamed Russia on Thursday for the blast that Ukrainian officials called an act of terrorism.
Ihor Mosiychuk, a member of the populist opposition Radical Party, was hospitalized but did not suffer life-threatening injuries, while his bodyguard and a passerby were killed. Two others were wounded.
Ukraine’s state security service (SBU) said that unknown perpetrators had rigged a motorcycle with explosives that detonated as the lawmaker left a TV station.
Radical party leader Oleg Lyashko said he had no doubt the incident was politically motivated, while Mosiychuk blamed Russia.
“I believe that the initiators are in Moscow, the executors are in Kiev,” Mosiychuk said on Facebook.
There was no immediate word from police on possible suspects or a motive for the attack.
Since fighting with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine broke out in 2014, the number of incidents involving explosives outside the conflict zone has increased, but vehicle bombings in the capital are relatively rare.
In June, a colonel in Ukraine’s military intelligence was killed by a car bomb in central Kiev. In 2016 a prominent investigative journalist, Pavel Sheremet, was killed by an explosive device in his car.
Radical Party lawmaker Evhen Deidei posted photos on his Facebook page from the scene of Wednesday’s attack which showed the burnt-out shell of a motorcycle in front of a damaged vehicle.
“Judging by the damage to the car and the shrapnel holes in the doors, the power of the explosion was pretty strong,” he said. “There is a lot of blood on the stairs, where Ihor was situated at the time of the explosion.”
The interior ministry’s Shkiryak said political analyst Vitaliy Bala was one of the three wounded in the blast.
Reporting by Natalia Zinets and Pavel Polityuk; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Robin Pomeroy