Suspect admits to planning St Petersburg supermarket attack

MOSCOW (AFP) – The man arrested by Russian authorities over an attack on a supermarket in St Petersburg has admitted to planning the act and planting the homemade bomb that wounded 18 people, investigators said Sunday (Dec 31).

“During questioning, the suspect confirmed having organised and carried out the crime,” the Russian Investigative Committee said in a statement. “He said his act was motivated by a hatred of the organisers and members of the psychological centres he attended”.

The suspect also hid two USB drives that contained “information on the reasons which pushed him to commit the crime and a picture of the explosive device” near the scene of Wednesday’s attack. 

The man had been registered at a psychiatric clinic since the age of 19, investigators said.

The suspect was named as 35-year-old Dmitry Lukyanenko, a resident of Saint Petersburg and member of the nationalist “New Age” movement by Russian news agency Interfax. The man reportedly lived an anti-social life and had previously been convicted for drug possession.

Investigators have now labelled the crime an “act of terrorism” after first classifying it as “attempted murder”.