Spot report by Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, 22 February 2015: explosion in Kharkiv at march commemorating February 2014 pro-Maidan events
This report is for the media and general public.
On 22 February 2015 at 13:15hrs, an explosion occurred at a pro-Maidan march commemorating the anniversary of February 2014 events in Kharkiv (during which three people died in demonstrations), outside the Palace of Sports on Marshal Zhukova Street (7km east of the city centre). The SMM, who were monitoring the commemoration, heard the blast and felt shockwaves from their position 100m away. The SMM arrived at the scene of the explosion at 13:20hrs, and saw two dead individuals covered with Ukrainian flags and casualties being attended to. The SMM noted the explosion caused no damage to nearby buildings or windows. At 14:45hrs, a police spokesperson and a representative of the prosecutor’s office gave a press conference at the scene, confirming that an explosive device killed two (one police officer, and one civilian taking part in the march) and injured eleven, six of whom were police officers.
The SMM observed that the main commemoration had concluded and that approximately 500 participants (approximately equal numbers of men and women and some children) were on Marshal Zhukova Street carrying a 250m long Ukrainian national flag to Liberty Square when the device was detonated. Police confirmed to SMM that the explosion took place at the head of the march which was led by police officers escorting participants to Liberty Square. The police also informed the SMM that the device consisted of the explosive trinitrotoluene (TNT) and shrapnel concealed in a plastic bag and was detonated remotely. According to police, the device was similar to one that exploded at the Moscovyi District Courthouse in Kharkiv (see SMM Daily Report based on information as of 21 January). The incident is being investigated as an act of terrorism according to police.