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Ukraine’s Odessa to protest against political repressions in Ukraine

March 23, 2014, 9:42 UTC+3 ODESSA
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ODESSA, March 23, /ITAR-TASS/. Public organisations in the Ukrainian city of Odessa will hold a march against political repressions and power usurpation in Ukraine on Sunday. Marchers demand leader of People’s Alternative coordination council of regional public organisations Anton Davidchenko arrested by Ukrainian security services should be released from custody and prosecution of other activists who are accused of encroachment on Ukrainian territorial integrity should be stopped.

“Amid tougher repressions and provocations against leaders of the protest movement it is vitally important for Odessa residents to go out in the streets and show that our hero city does not surrender,” march organisers said in a statement on Saturday.

Odessa residents intend to show in their action held under slogan “No step back!” that arrests cannot intimidate them and make them stop fight for their legitimate rights, particularly holding of referenda for power decentralisation in Ukraine, granting the status of state language to the Russian language and their choice of a new foreign policy in the country.

Representatives of protest movement for European integration of Ukraine in the city of Odessa tried to hamper a demonstration. They turned to court to ban a march, but their lawsuit was turned down. Meanwhile, they have handed over in regional prosecutor’s office a blacklist of people that they demand to arrest “for separatist statements” and “beating of journalists and activists”. The former regional prosecutor, his deputies and aides, chairman of a local journalist organisation and leaders of public organisations that had conducted a sign-up campaign in the city of Odessa for holding referenda were put on the list.

Multi-thousand rallies in support of these demands are held in Odessa each weekend. Last Sunday, on March 16, more than 10,000 people went out in the city streets, organisers said. People were carrying huge flags of Ukraine, Russia and Crimea and were chanting “Referendum!”, “Ukraine and Russia together!”, “Fascism will not go!”, “Odessa is a Russian city!”, “Odessa be more courageous, kick out Bandera!” They called for curbing a campaign in local media for false informing of local residents and for stopping pressure on TV channels which support opposition and broadcast Russian TV programmes.

On Sunday, demonstrators intend to go to Poland’s consulate in Odessa to remind the country of the Volyn massacre in which Ukrainian nationalists killed brutally thousands of Polish civilians during World War Two. After that marchers will hold a rally at regional prosecutor’s office demanding to stop repressions against likeminded activists.

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