Ukraine police storm bus to free gunman’s hostages

A stand-off with a gunman in Ukraine has ended with police storming a bus and freeing his hostages after hours of negotiations, officials say.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov tweeted pictures of the gunman lying on the ground after his arrest in the city of Lutsk.

The man had originally been holding about 20 hostages but released three shortly before the police moved in.

All the hostages are said to be unharmed.

The man has been named by police as Maksym Kryvosh, 44, from Russia, who has previous convictions.

Police earlier said they had come under fire and a grenade was thrown, although it did not explode.

One of the gunman’s demands was that senior politicians state they are terrorists.

“Lutsk. Everyone is okay,” Mr Avakov tweeted (in Russian) following the end of the siege.

The interior minister was in Lutsk to lead negotiations with the gunman.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also held talks with the hostage-taker, which his spokeswoman Yuliya Mendel said had led to the release of the first three hostages.

Mr Zelensky posted a brief video on his Facebook page in which he says in Russian the words: “Everyone should watch the 2005 film Earthlings.” Another of the demands of the hostage-taker had been for the president to encourage people to watch the Hollywood-made animal rights documentary.

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