As fighting continues to rage in eastern Ukraine the conflict carries on in less deadly ways far from the front, with Kyiv hit by a rash of hoax bomb alerts this week, the latest in the headquarters of Channel 5, a private news broadcaster that belongs to the president.
After four hours the television employees were allowed back in but police say the alert and others like it are designed to spread a feeling of insecurity and panic.
“Yesterday Channel 5 donated a jeep to a Ukrainian battalion that takes part in anti-terroristic operations in eastern Ukraine. And this morning we got this information about the bomb,” said chief editor Volodymyr Mzhelskiy.
Yesterday (July 3) a fighter in the “Donbas” battalion that is temporarily located in Kyiv was informed of a possible terrorist act in the Ukrainian parliament building. It was another false alarm. The government is on guard.
“They want to demonstrate that Ukraine is unstable, that weird and aggressive events take place here, and that causes a certain psychological effect. Moreover, you can see how the Russian mass media plays with the facts. Putin wants to bring into Ukraine a general plan of destabilisation and tension,” said the head of national security and Defense Council of Ukraine Andriy Parubiy.
Other bomb scares have had security forces jumping in Lviv, where the Euro 2012 football stadium was threatened, although as it’s never used locals joked it is doubtful anyone would notice, and Kharkiv’s underground railway, which caused considerable disruption to travellers.