ODESSA, January 26, 18:14 /ITAR-TASS/. Residents of Ukraine’s Odessa region on the northwestern shore of the Black Sea voice their support to the Ukrainian authorities in their efforts to establish law and order in the country, head of the regional administration Nikolai Skorik said in an interview with Itar-Tass on Sunday.
Despite winter frosts, thousands of Odessa residents of Odessa gathered on Sunday for an open-ended rally in protest of opposition riots in Kiev and in a number of other Ukrainian cities and regions. Participants in the rally have put big heated tents in a square in front of the building of the regional administration. Here, people staying in the square may get warmed up. They say they are staying here to prevent possible attempts by the opposition to seize the building.
“We support the efforts the Ukrainian president is taking to normalize the situation in the country,” Skorik said. “The situation is very difficult but I am confident that the head of state and his team would be able to find a way out of the crisis.”
“People of Odessa stand for stability and territorial integrity of the country,” he stressed. “We shall do our best to ensure normal living conditions and civil accord, to protect people from radicals who have staged riots in a number of other regions, including the neighbouring VInnitsy region.”
He said there was information that some ‘hot heads’ sought to spread riots into the Odessa region. “They understand that they have no support from the overwhelming majority of our residents, so they are staking on pogrom-makers and thugs from other localities,” he noted.
The way out of the crisis, Skorik stressed, was only through talks. “But such talks cannot be held from the position of protests that trigger violence,” he noted. “Protests staged by the opposition in Kiev and other cities cannot be called peaceful. They entail chaos, disintegration of the state, so they deserve a tough response by law enforcement agencies.”
“It’s one thing when people get together and voice their viewpoint on the country’s development in a peaceful manner, but it is a totally different thing when their actions lead to a situation that is beyond any discussion. I am confident no change of power is worth hatred, blood and suffering,” he emphasized.
Opposition protests are not supported by the majority of Odessa residents. Opposition rallies here draw not more than a couple of hundreds of people, along with idlers. Earlier, lawmakers of the Odessa Regional Council and the Odessa City Council addressed President Viktor Yanukovich with a request to take measures against mass opposition riots in Kiev.