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Russian lawmakers consider Poroshenko’s cool welcome in Ukraine's Odessa logical

April 10, 2015, 20:13 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Hundreds of people chanted "murderer", "No to fascism!" and other anti-government slogans as the Ukrainian president was laying a wreath at the Monument to an Unknown Sailor in Odessa
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Petro Poroshenko in Odessa

Petro Poroshenko in Odessa

© Mikhail Palinchak/Ukrainian president's press service/TASS

MOSCOW, April 10 /TASS/. The Russian State Duma has described as logical a cool welcome that the people of south Ukraine's Odessa gave to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko who arrived in the city for the celebrations of the 71st anniversary of Odessa’s liberation from German and Romanian occupiers.

Hundreds of people chanted "murderer", "No to fascism!" and other anti-government slogans as the Ukrainian president was laying a wreath at the Monument to an Unknown Sailor at the Alley of Glory in Odessa. The demonstrators were holding a replica of the Banner of Victory and red flags in their hands.

Poroshenko was accompanied by city officials while Euromaidan supporters dressed in military uniforms stood nearby. Reinforced police units sealed off the Alley of Glory. The policemen turned away all the people who had come to lay flowers at the monument.

Police stopped several sporadic clashes which flared up between the Euromaidan supporters and the demonstrators after the presidential motorcade had left. .

Earlier on Friday, it was reported that Euromaidan supporters had removed all the billboards greeting the war veterans on the city’s liberation from the city streets.

"This is a natural reaction to the terrible tragedy that took place in Odessa on May 2, 2014 and a series of bills which Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada [parliament] passed a day earlier on Thursday, " Frants Klintsevich, the first deputy head of the United Russia party parliamentary faction, told journalists on Friday.

"It is strange if the Ukrainian president has expected any other reception than the one he got from the people of Odessa, which is a Hero City, on such a day," Klintsevich said. He added that everything could have been worse if it had not been for reinforced police cordons.

"The Ukrainian authorities are shouting about popular support at every corner but now it is clear that it’s a myth," Klintsevich stressed.

Mass protests have been shaking Odessa, southern Ukraine, for the past five days.

On April 8, Ukraine’s security services detained dozens of activists of a newly-formed opposition organization called "The People’s Rada of Bessarabia". Its head Dmitry Zatuliveter was taken away in an unknown direction. Ukraine’s Security Chief Valentin Nalivaychenko said the detainees were suspected of terrorist activities with an aim to destabilize the situation in the region.

The national minorities of the Odessa region united into a new organization (The People’s Rada of Bessarabia) at the organization’s constituent conference on April 6 with an aid to defend their rights. The conference had been attended by delegates from 7 regional communities - Bulgarian, Gagauz, Russian, Ukrainian, Gypsy, Moldovan and Polish.

It looks as if a new problem zone has appeared in Ukraine. The People’s Rada of Bessarabia was organized to seek the status of a national territorial autonomy within Ukraine for the Bessarabia region.

Bessarabia is a historical region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River in the East and the Prut River in the West. It passed successively, from the 15th to 20th century, to Moldova, the Ottoman Empire, Russia, Romania, the Soviet Union, and Ukraine and Moldova.

Moldova which is historically part of Bessarabia is alarmed by the recent events in the Odessa region, which borders on Moldova’s unrecognized Dniester Republic.

On April 9, the People’s Rada of Bessarabia sent a letter to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko urging him to stop reprisals against the organization’s activists.

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