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15 Russians die in Trade Unions House fire in Odessa - Ukrainian TV

May 03, 2014, 11:16 UTC+3 ODESSA
According to the press service of the regional police department, a total of 38 people have died in the fire
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© EPA/ALEXEY FURMAN

ODESSA, May 03./ITAR-TASS/. Fifteen Russians and five residents of the self-proclaimed Transnistria have died in a fire in the Trade Unions House in Odessa, Ukraine’s TSN television channel reported.

According to the press service of the regional police department, a total of 38 people have died in the fire that was started in the building of the regional council of trade unions in Odessa by activists of the Right Sector and Self-Defense ultranationalist organizations who arrived from Kiev.

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.

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