According to the interior ministry in kiev, at least 29 people were injured, including 10 children. Five of the victims were seriously injured. The prosecutor's office called it a terrorist attack. However, the european football union UEFA and the local authorities still believe that security for the european championships is assured. However, the foreign office changed its travel advice and advised "special caution" in the country.
Ukraine has been hit by the 8. June an together with poland host of the european soccer championship. The government in kiev is under international pressure over its handling of opposition members. In particular, the treatment of timoshenko, who was convicted of abuse of office and suffering from a slipped disc, has triggered storms of protest.
A series of attacks like the one in dnepropetrovsk has not been seen in ukraine in recent years. First, an explosive device hidden in a trash can exploded at a tram stop. Shortly thereafter, police said, at least three more explosions occurred, including at the train station and near the opera house of the city of 1.1 million people. Eyewitnesses reported panic and tumultuous scenes on the internet. The mobile radio network of the fourth largest city in ukraine temporarily collapsed.
A fifth explosive device was defused, according to the interior ministry. There were first indications of the perpetrators. There had been neither threats of attack nor a letter of confession, it said.
The series of bombs was an "attack on the whole country," said president viktor yanukovych. He instructed the secret service SBU and the ministry of the interior with the immediate investigation of the explosions. "We will give the right answer," the head of state emphasized. Interior minister vitali zakharchenko left kiev for dnipropetrovsk, which is not hosting the european soccer championships.
The european football union UEFA did not initially see any immediate reason for new european championship security checks."These events in no way diminish UEFA's confidence in the security measures planned by the ukrainian authorities for UEFA EURO 2012, which will ensure a serene tournament without incident," it sounded from the association's headquarters in nyon, switzerland, on friday. However, the situation in ukraine is being "monitored".
UEFA president michel platini defended awarding the european championship to ukraine. "Not to award the european championship to countries like ukraine, because not everything is as stable as in western european democracies"? That's no solution," he told the daily newspaper die welt (saturday). The president of the german olympic sports confederation (DOSB) warned against instrumentalization of sport. "Sport must not become the stick of politics," he told the dpa news agency. "Sport is not in a position to ensure compliance with and implementation of the charter of the united nations"."
The federal government kept up the pressure and called on the ukrainian leadership to act quickly in the timoshenko case. "There can be no playing for time here from the ukrainian government," said government spokesman steffen seibert, referring to timoshenko's health condition. German chancellor angela merkel remains open about whether she will travel to ukraine for the european championship. On NDR info, she reiterated the demand for timoshenko to be treated in germany. "That's what the foreign office is trying to do and that's what the chancellor's office is trying to do as well."
51-year-old timoshenko complains that she was not treated for an acute phase of a slipped disc. According to her lawyers, she also suffered bruises on her arms and abdomen during the forced transport to a clinic outside the penitentiary.