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Odessa riots provoked by Right Sector radicals claim lives of 37 people

May 03, 2014, 10:18 UTC+3 ODESSA
About 200 were injured
1 pages in this article
© EPA/SERGEY GUMENYUK

ODESSA, May 03. /ITAR-TASS/. The riots in Odessa, provoked by the radicals of the Right Sector and Self-Defense groups that arrived from Kiev, on Friday claimed the lives of 37 people, about 200 were injured, according to specified data of the main police department of the Odessa region, made public on Saturday.

“Thirty-seven people were killed and some 200 injured, including 22 policemen” as a result of clashes, the department said. In addition, law enforcement agencies detained more than 130 people who participated in mass riots and 10 criminal cases were opened, the report says.

 

Odessa clashes

The disturbance began in Odessa in the daytime on Friday with a mass brawl at Grecheskaya Street. It was instigated by football fans from Kharkov and Right Sector and Self-Defence radicals from Kiev, who decided to organize a march on Odessa streets. They provoked clashes with federalization supporters. Forcing them out, radicals set fire to a camp at Kulikovo Field where activists collected signatures to hold a referendum on federalization of Ukraine and the official status of the Russian language. Activists from the camp escaped to the nearby building of the regional House of Trade Unions, and radicals set fire to the building. When the fire reached the upper floors, many of the people there died from smoke. Others jumped from upper floors and died when falling. Those who survived were cruelly beaten by Kiev radicals with batons.

Regional council member and Odessa mayoral candidate Alexei Albu was also attacked.

"When we came out of the burning building, a crowd of nationalists attacked us. I can say that about a hundred people were hurt. People jumped out of windows. Everything was in smoke. People lying on the ground were kicked with feet. I and one of our activists, Vlad, have serious head injuries. We are heading for a hospital. Earlier in the day, our activist Ivan received a bullet wound. Right Sector members who attacked the House of Trade Unions were fully equipped, armed and prepared beforehand," Albu said. He is in a hospital where he has received first aid.

On Friday evening, medical personnel in Odessa asked city residents to help save scores of injured people. First of all dressings and antibiotics were needed. Hospitals were short of them, said doctors at the city's first clinic, where injured people were taken.

 

Developments in the south-east of Ukraine 

One was killed and more than ten people were wounded when fire was opened on the building of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) in Sloviansk, Donbass (Donetsk region) militiamen said.

The SBU building, occupied by the headquarters of self defense forces, was under sniper fire for hours on Friday, an ITAR-TASS correspondent reported from the site.

One defender was killed as a result of the punitive operation conducted in Sloviansk. Rumours that "people's mayor" Vyacheslav Ponomaryov was wounded and died were not confirmed. At the same time, some wounded people were in very grave conditions.

It was quiet in the city on the night. No shots were heard. Defenders remained on alert, expecting a new assault and shooting to begin on Saturday morning, at about 05:00 Moscow time.

 

Geneva initiative

Russia has come forth with a proposal to pass a statement in support of the April 17 Geneva accords on the Ukrainian settlement urging to immediately stop any violence in the country. 

“I think it would be right to end our meeting with such a statement,” Russia’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said on Friday at an extraordinary meeting of the United Nations Security Council. The document should urge “to immediately stop any violence, including the use of armed forces in Ukraine’s eastern regions and take serious steps to fully implement the Geneva document. If you are ready to support such statement, we will be ready to support it too.”

No one objected to Russia’s initiative and the United Nations Security Council current President, Oh Joon, who is South Korea’s Permanent Representative, took it into consideration. Closing the two-hour meeting, he asked political coordinators to tackle this issue.

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