Ukraine arrests two suspects over April bombings


View of the empty pedestal of Stalin's monument after an explosion in front of the Communist Party residence in Zaporizhia on January 1, 2011.



The authorities in Ukraine have arrested two men suspected of involvement in four bomb blasts that injured 31 people in the eastern city of Dnipropetrovsk in April.

Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko said both suspects came from from Dnipropetrovsk, and had tried to demand $4.5 million from the authorities in exchange for cancelling their plans, according to Interfax-Ukraine.

The BBC, citing state media, reports that the men are under 40 and have never completed military service, which might mean that they come from outside the country.

Dnepropetrovsk, the home town of jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, is located in Ukraine's predominantly Russian-speaking east.

Immediately after the blasts Yuri Boychenko, a spokesman for the prosecutor general’s office, told The New York Times that the authorities believed the bombings had been carried out by terrorists, but opposition activists have suggested that attacks may have formed part of a government plot to draw attention away from Tymshenko’s ongoing incarceration.