Council Meeting Grenade Attack Shows the Absence of Situational Awareness and the Danger of Denial

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One thing I’ve read over and over in the accounts of mass shooting survivors is that they initially didn’t believe it was happening. When they hear gunshots, instead of believing their ears, people often think that something must’ve fallen or that there was construction work of some kind going on. This state of denial and confusion robs people of valuable time they could have spent running, hiding, or getting ready to fight.

But an even worse thing happens to many people: they don’t notice the danger at all, or notice it far too late. Without situational awareness, it’s pretty easy to miss out on any chance to protect yourself from danger at all.

A recent video out of Ukraine shows us examples of both of these. During a dispute over a budget or something in a local village council meeting, a man entered the room, argues with the council, removes grenades from his pockets, and then holds them up while yelling. Then, he pops the fuses and throws the grenades on the floor.

Here’s an uncensored video of what happened. It’s worth watching for training and educational purposes, and doesn’t show any blood or gore, as the room fills with smoke when the first grenade explodes.

According to the AP, the man was a member of the local council and his grenade attack injured at least twenty-six people, six critically. It’s unknown whether this attack had anything to do with the war going on in the country.

The key thing to watch for in the video is the looks on people’s faces. When the man pulls the grenades from his pockets, no one seems to notice. When he starts yelling and holding the grenades up, no one runs from the room or tries to take any action to stop him. Because he hadn’t pulled the pins yet, it’s possible that he could have been stopped with a well-placed shot at that point. Or, if they were still going to go off, people could have at least had more time to get away.

But even if people didn’t notice when he held the grenades up, or thought he was bluffing, they probably should have noticed when the pop as he armed them and threw them in the floor. Surely at that point, a person would at least try to take cover…right?

But as you can see in the video, people just stared, one at the grenade on the floor right in front of him, in disbelief. One man got up, but stayed put. No one ran. Some looked away as if that would somehow help them.

Sadly, that’s normal human nature.

For some people, the danger was never seen because they were too busy arguing over the budget or something. In hindsight, they probably realize being too focused on that to look around the room was a mistake, but when it was happening, it seemed like the most important thing in the world. It’s too easy to let life distract us from what’s actually important.

For many, normalcy bias kicked in. Something as wild and unexpected as a guy pulling out grenades in a meeting room only happens in the movies. So, they think, surely this can’t be real. Carry on as normal.

It takes mental effort to get out of bad habits and react when it’s most important. Plan ahead to believe your eyes and ears, and more importantly, keep them engaged enough to know that there’s something to believe.

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66 COMMENTS

  1. “It’s unknown whether this attack had anything to do with the war going on in the country.” Yes, it does. The man is a veteran who was injured and ignored by the system. He spent half a year trying to get support after his injuries, but the system there is rigged against it. It is very difficult to prove that you have been injured, the injuries themselves notwithstanding. For example, you have to prove that you were wearing your helmet at the time that your leg was blown off in order to received financial compensation. This person had, reasonably, enough of the bullshit.

    • None of those vets are ever getting anything. They’ve lost and the narcissist in charge insists on sending in waves of pensioners to catch bullets now that they’re all out of younger bodies. The denial of benefits is just one more symptom of the rampant corruption that country has been dealing with for at least three generations. Maybe more.

    • “This person had, reasonably, enough of the bullshit.”

      There’s nothing reasonable about it. You don’t inflict pain on others merely because you’re suffering. He’s no better than the people who didn’t think twice about throwing him into an avoidable conflict. Now we’re seeing another result of the Russo-UkrainianWestern War: the broken (not just physically) people coming out of it.

      Remember when the West helped to overthrow a democratically-elected government in 2014? Remember when the Ukrainian government ignored their Russian-speaking citizens? Remember when NATO and Ukraine were acting like lovebirds? Remember when the West sent Boris Johnson to break up the peace negotiations? I do, and I wasn’t the one beating the war drums. You reap what you sow.

      • Stop already with this propaganda line that “the West helped to overthrow a democratically-elected government in 2014”. The overthrow was the choice of the majority and it received support of the majority. Was the West involved – yes, but by the same rules should we admit that France overthrew the legitimate British government and created the United States? France was involved, correct? As to the “democratically-elected” – about as democratically elected as our present government…

        • “should we admit that France overthrew the legitimate British government and created the United States”

          Or, should we say it might not have been possible without France’s help? Because a lot of people do say that. Do you believe that Ukraine would have been at war with Russia all of this time without the West backing them? Ukraine can’t even pay their own salaries.

          If Ukraine could have switched gears, so to speak, in 2014 without the West, then why didn’t they?

        • Obama’s CIA coup was illegal. Ukraine does NOT have a homogenous population. The regions Russia liberated are 95% ethnic Russian and have been for 90 years.

          Western Ukraine has Poles, Hungarians and Slovaks who want their property to be reunited with their homelands, stolen in 1945 by Churchill & Stalin.

          Google “2010 Ukraine Elections” to see a political map of Ukraine…it is as divided as the USA.

      • A few facts: It was Obama’s agreement with Putin/Medvedev to allow Russia to take Crimea. It was also Obama’s instruction to Ukraine to not interfere with the Russian occupation of Crimea. The full scale war, or the conquest of a sovereign country of Ukraine would have happened sooner, but Trump’s presidency interfered by putting Putin (and other local dictators) into his place. Biden, immediately upon coming to power, incentivized Putin to invade. Without the US and European support Ukraine would have collapsed within months, but that hardly justifies one country taking over another. As to the coup/uprising that Ukraine had against a pro-Russian president (again, the elections there were as democratic as they are here…), it is wholly the right of the people of any country to remove a government that is illegal and alien to them. I can only hope that my fellow Americans will have the same size balls as Ukrainians had.

        • Alexander,
          Correct me if I’m misunderstanding you, but are you saying that the pro-Russian government was a hostile takeover, and the pro-US government was the will of the people? It wasn’t two more powerful countries fighting for control of a client state?

      • Those “Russian-speaking citizens” were planted by Stalin (as in the Baltic states) as infiltrators to overwhelm the natives. As alien as the scum crossing our Southern (and now Northern) border.

      • Is that the government overthrown by an uprising of the people, and whose secret police started shooting down the unarmed protesters, THAT government? You sound more like an FSB Agitprop agent to me.

  2. Too many pilgrims move like snails. I was at the grocery and a middle age couple with their backs turned took minutes to decide whether to buy whole or 2% milk. While waiting I decided their inability to keep moving was potentially putting me in harm’s way so I returned later to grab a gallon of milk and get back to analizing my surroundings. If you do not have seconds between you and a perp a holstered firearm may not be much good.

    • Whole milk is clearly the way to go. It tastes better and is better for you. 2% is ok, 1% is bairly tolerable, and skim is an abomination.

      Also, use real butter instead of fake margarine, and lard instead of shortning. Real food is best

      • Even better yet… Avoid dairy all together. Eat whole foods that are good for adult humans, not full of hormones to turn a baby cow in to an adult cow.

        • You are aware that the so called healthy foods you speak of. Have been genetically modified for decades and continue to be.
          Along with the countless tons of man made fertilizer and pesticides and don’t try the Organic argument, because that too is a joke. Just look at the government quality standards for so called organic foods. Unless you grow it yourself from heritage seeds and raise your own livestock. You are only kidding yourself.

        • What kind of whole foods are you talking about? I hope you aren’t pushing some sort of vegan nonsense. Personally, I am a big gardener (vegetables, fruit trees, berry bushes and canes, grapes, etc), and also keep a backyard flock of hens. We eat a lot of eggs. If I had more land, I’d like to raise a few hogs, turkeys, and beef cattle. We do pretty well on diet considering we live in town.

        • As someone who developed a fairly severe allergy to dairy as an adult it isn’t easy to avoid it since they put it everything these days. It can be done but it takes patience and perseverance plus insistence. Eating out means being very careful and getting less food since you are usually paying for the dairy products anyway when you say to leave them out of an order. Restaurants often put butter on everything too which can trip you up only to find out later when a severe reaction hits you. Some burger joints even slather butter on the burger before or after grilling it.

        • “During a dispute over a budget…”

          Probably a dispute over how much to budget to pay Joe Biden.

    • Geez debbie is it that bad at your local dairy aisle LoL, that they were “putting you in harms way?
      Somebody might go crazy with the Cheez Whiz

  3. I wonder if the Ukrainian culture, after decades of Communist rule, rendered the individual psyche as one of:

    – This is something the government should take care of!
    – I’m not a Party apparatchik, I have no authority to act here.
    – I’m not a cop/soldier, I have no duty to act here.

    This is less of a problem in America but it is more of a problem in most other countries where individualism is disparaged and a top-down line of authority governs the culture.

    And that is apt to be part of why the rest of the world can’t imagine a culture that believes in government by the consent of the governed. A population that takes to heart the teachings of Chairman Mao: “Political power emanates from the barrel of a gun.”

    • “Political power emanates from the barrel of a gun.” Isn’t it the same here? Aren’t Jan 6 never-ending persecutions are not an example of the same State tyranny?

  4. How often does the average person just pull out grenades??? And then pull the pins???
    Also how many in the room have really seen grenades up close???

    Pulling out a gun? Yes everyone knows the danger Immediately.

    And this story is rather timely. Because I’ve been thinking about walking around with toy grenades as EDC. Just to see what happens. It’s Just my social experiment.

    • Doesn’t it seem like these must have been “flashbangs” not actual grenades? I don’t see how there could have been no fatalities with three real ones. In those tight quarters, I would expect multiple fatalities.

      It is weird that no one did anything.

      • After mulltiple explosions you’re hearing those people still walking, talking, moving around. Had to be some type of Flash Bang or equivalent. Not a Frag. The table top in the video is still whole and I do not see any holes.

        A Russian RGD-5 has a kill radius of 3 meters. So not a frag. The rough size/shape looks right. But there are so many that look similar. Maybe the RGD-N grenade simulator? Used as a trainer for the RGD-5. It is reusable and simulates a RGD-5. Big flash, no fragmentation.

        • I agree. I’ve seen live grenades explode when I was in the army. Those were not fragmentation grenades.
          They were flash bangs. And very destructive ones at that.

          And I suspect European flash bangs. Or at least Ukraine flash bangs are not the same as american flash bangs.

        • If a flash bang goes off right next to you? You most likely will be 🔥. And most likely they will be third degree burns. That happened to a 6 month old baby. When a SWAT team raided a house. And found no drugs there. The flash bang landed inside the baby crib.

        • If those were HE or Frag grenades everyone in that room would be dead or dying soon short of some sort of miracle of multiple bodies being in the way of every fragment coming your way and being lucky as hell that it was stopped or turned away as it hit multiple bodies because real grenades rip everyone to shreds within 20-30 feet.

          Probably flash-bangs. Really bad burns to those close but much more survivable.

        • Those were real grenades. Two dozen people seriously injured, several critically. Not flash; real. He threw them on the floor, which sets off the detonator with an approx 1-2 sec delay, which is seen in the video. The video shows two grenades, but some news outlets say there were three.

      • None. Money is very easy to steal, so is humanitarian aid. Major military equipment is very difficult to steal and there are only extremely rare examples of that ever happening. Donating a 100 Billion dollars worth of high tech equipment to our enemies, on the other hand, can and has been done by our illustrious rulers.

  5. If you want a more dramatic demonstration of the dangers of denial and lack of situational awareness look no farther than the Oct attack by Hamas on Israel.

  6. People are deathly afraid of “looking stupid” in front of other people and over-reacting to situations like this There are idiots who play practical jokes with similar situations and then are laughing at people who take them at face value.

    I don’t care what people think of me and will react to these sorts of things like they are real and have been accused in the past of “over-reacting” to such jokers.

    This is the first video of this incident that I have viewed and what I can’t believe is these were actual real grenades and not training munitions because there should have been massive casualties in that small room. From what I have heard there were multiple injuries but no fatalities. Just about everyone in that room who wasn’t shielded by another body or two should have been dead or seriously ripped apart by grenades tossed into such a small space.

    I had envisioned a very large room like an auditorium and the grenades detonated at a distance from the attendees when I first heard about live grenades and no fatalities.

    • Those grenades have only 100 grams of explosive. They are designed to wound everyone in a 4 meter radius, not to rip them apart. It is surprising that no one was killed, but not surprising that most were wounded.

        • The Russian/Ukrainian grenades have less than 100 grams of explosives. Then US grenades contain 165 grams. Obviously, any grenade can kill; all I am trying to say is that having 20+ people wounded but none killed (so far, some are critical) is believable.

  7. This gives me some ideas about how to handle matters in the next School Board with Parents meeting I will have to attend. That will get their attention really quick, seeing how they ignore parents that have legitimate comments and issues to share with those stuck-up “blanketyblanks”.

  8. “During a dispute over a budget…”

    Probably a dispute over how much to budget to pay Joe Biden.

  9. Out of order. I’ll show YOU “out of order”! You don’t know what “out of order” is, Mr. Trask. I’d show you, but I’m too old, I’m too tired, I’m too fucking blind. If I were the man I was five years ago, I’d take a FLAMETHROWER to this place! Out of order? Who the hell do ya think you’re talking to? I’ve been around, ya know? There was a time I could see. And I have seen. Boys like these, younger than these. Their arms torn out, their legs ripped off. But there is nothing like the sight of an amputated spirit. There’s no prostetic for that. You think you’re merely sending this splendid foot solder back home to Oregon with tail between his legs, but I say you are executing his SOUL! And why? Because he’s not a Baird man. Baird men. You hurt this boy, you’re gonna be Baird bums, the lot of ya. And Harry, Jimmy, Trent, wherever you are, fuck you too!

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