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Clashes between supporters of Ukraine’s authorities and protesters begin in Odessa

May 02, 2014, 18:29 UTC+3 ODESSA

People are building barricades in the central streets in Odessa

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© ITAR-TASS/Michael Pochuev

ODESSA, May 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Mass riots are reported from the central square in Ukraine’s Black Sea city of Odessa on Friday. The riots were instigated by aggressively behaving supporters of the current Kiev authorities and fans of the local football club Chernomorets.

About 1,500 young men wearing masks and Right Sector armlets armed with chains, clubs and shields tried to stage a march along Odessa’s central streets, chanting “Glory to Ukraine,” “Death to Foes,” “Stab Moskals” (Moskal is an ethnic slur for Russians used in Ukraine), an ITAR-TASS correspondent reported from the site.

They were met by activists from the Kulikovo Pole (Kulikovo Field) movement, who spoke against what they call the usurpation of power in Ukraine, for a referendum on federalization of the country and granting the Russian language the official state language status. Police failed to prevent clashes, which have spread to Deribasovskaya Street and Grecheskaya Square. A number of people have been injured. Policemen are using their shields to take injured people from the site of clashes. People are building barricades in the central streets in Odessa.

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