Several bombs have exploded in Ukraine’s fourth largest city Dnepropetrovsk, injuring at least 27 people and sending the city into a panic.
Police have closed the metro, and are searching rubbish bins, where the devices that the security services say may have used home-made explosives were planted. They add they have identified their first suspects.
Tanks and armoured vehicles have arrived in the city centre, but there are also rumours of 10 explosions and a number of deaths.
The Interior Ministry has called the attacks an act of terrorism and has opened an investigation.
President Viktor Yanukovich called the crisis a “challenge for the nation”. Parliament is holding an emergency sitting tonight.
However the opposition has been quick to say the attacks may be the work of agent provocateurs; they fear the bombings will allow Yanukovich to impose a state of emergency and ban mass gatherings.
One such is currently underway in the capital Kyiv to protest at the continuing imprisonment of former prime minister Yulia Tymoschenko. The opposition also feels it will get the blame for the attacks.
The explosions come with just six weeks to go before Ukraine co-hosts Europe’s biggest sporting event, Euro 2012.