There were two explosions in eastern Ukraine, in the industrial city of Makiivka on Thursday, January 20, 2011. The explosions went off near a shopping mall and a regional state coal mining company. The bombs reportedly only damaged windows; none of the city’s 400,000 inhabitants were injured. However, even more frightening than the actual bombs, was the threat letter left at a nearby building. The Deputy Interior Minister, Farynnyk, stated that the threat letter promises five more explosions, if the authors do not receive a large sum of money. The authors referred to themselves as “people well known in Makiivka” and they included instructions for a money transfer. The Ukranews reported that the blackmailers were demanding four million Euros.
The threat letter was left on a municipal administration building, requiring that all the money be received by 5:00 pm. This forced the building to be evacuated and the area was cordoned by the police. It is still speculation as to whether the threat letter is connected to the two earlier bombs. It was also rumored that a third bomb went off in a supermarket, but this information was dismissed by the city’s Mayor, Maltsev.
These events lead the Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych to shorten his official visit in Japan, and return to Ukraine. Yanukovch has instructed law enforcement to tighten security throughout the nation and is planning to meet with the Security Service upon his return. The Anti-terrorist center of the Security Service is taking extensive measures to find those responsible and prevent any future attacks. Farynnyk reported that two hundred bomb specialists have been sent to the city to prevent further explosions.
The UN Security Council’s main objective is to maintain international peace and security. Although Ukraine appears to be taking appropriate measures in response to the threats, do the explosions and threats merit intervention by the UN Security Council? Should the UN adhere to Ukraine’s sovereignty in handling the matter? If the bombs were planted by terrorist organizations, should the UN Security Council be required to make recommendations to the Ukrainian government?