President Zelensky of Ukraine said he was personally involved in a hostage situation in the city of Lutsk, 400 kilometres west of the capital Kiev.
A man hijacked a small passenger bus there. According to the authorities, about ten people have been taken, hostage. Earlier there were about twenty people.
Shots have been heard and the bus appears to be damaged, Zelenski said. According to him, everything is done to solve the situation without making victims.
The hostage-taker, a 44-year-old man previously convicted of fraud and prohibited possession of weapons, alleges he has explosives and weapons.
The police have cordoned off the area and advise local residents to stay indoors. According to local media, the perpetrator may have psychological problems.
Authorities are trying to negotiate with the man, who appears to have spread his demands via Twitter. He wants high officials and clergy to declare that they are “terrorists”.