Four explosions rocked an eastern Ukrainian city on Friday, injuring 27 people. Authorities say it was a terrorist attack but an opposition lawmaker claims it could be a government plot to divert attention from the imprisonment of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.
Top law enforcement officials rushed to Dnipropetrovsk, 400 kilometers (250 miles) southeast of Kiev, to investigate but there was no immediate claim of responsibility. The violence undermined Ukraine’s security just weeks before it co-hosts the European soccer championships in June.
Many Ukrainian officials called blasts terrorist attacks, including Deputy Prosecutor General Yevgeny Blazhivsky. Ukraine has not been afflicted with political terrorism but there have been previous explosions connected to criminal extortion.
President Viktor Yanukovych vowed to investigate and punish the perpetrators.
“This is yet another challenge for us, for the whole country,” Yanukovych told reporters in televised comments. “We will think of how to respond to this properly.”
The opposition party led by the jailed former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, however, suggested that Yanukovych’s government may have organized the blasts in order to deflect the world’s attention from Tymoshenko’s imprisonment and reported abuse in prison.