Small-town government can often bring people into heated, violent exchanges that turn the process of democracy into emotional, angry and occasionally profane moments.
But the worst vituperative tangle at a town council or school board pales beside what took place in the Keretsky Village Council in Ukraine’s Western Zakarpattia region on Friday.
This is not a big city. Keretsky has about 4,000 people and is near the Hungarian border, according to the BBC.
On Friday, village officials were discussing the topic of raises for village leaders.
As the hot-button topic was being discussed, video posted to social media showed Deputy Serhiy Batryn, a member of Ukraine’s parliament, entering.
“May I speak?” he said, according to the New York Post. But he didn’t say a word on the topic.
Instead, he reached into the pockets of his coat and very deliberately tossed three hand grenades to the floor of the crowded meeting room.
WARNING: The video of the incident is graphic and may be disturbing to some people.
A local politician in Western Ukraine turned a village meeting into chaos Friday morning when he detonated 2 grenades, injuring 26 people … and it was live streamed on Facebook. pic.twitter.com/x4HO3qHrE0
— Doni 🤓🏴🏴☠️ (@DoniTheDon_) December 15, 2023
Amid the chaos and screaming, the Post said one woman called out, “I can’t walk!” in Ukrainian.
Police said 26 people were injured, six critically.
Batryn suffered what were termed grave injuries, according to the Associated Press, which said responders worked to save his life. Initial reports indicated he was killed.
Ukraine’s Security Service is investigating the incident as an act of terrorism, the Post reported.
No obvious connection to the war with Russia took place. Batryn is a member of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Servant of the People Party.
Local media reports indicated that Batryn was a political foe of village chief Mikhail Mushka.
Batryn had opposed giving Mushka a wartime raise and did not go along with others in grading Mushka’s performance on the job as satisfactory.
Batryn had been at the meeting prior to the incident, but left the room for several minutes before returning with the grenades.
The meeting was being live-streamed on Facebook.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.