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Kiev police detain protesters commemorating Odessa victims

May 02, 2015, 19:20 UTC+3 KIEV
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KIEV, May 2. /TASS/. Several protesters of the ‘Kiev Remembers Odessa’ rally have been detained by the police in the Ukrainian capital, the police press service said on Saturday.

"Law enforcers invited the men to a local police station for identification procedures," the police press service said. "During the check-up, officers found out that the men, born in 1976 and 1969 and residents of Kiev and Chernigov, had been watching the procession so later they were allowed to leave the police station."

Earlier, social networks posted reports that the organisers of the Kiev rally commemorating the victims of tragedy that happened in the Black Sea port of Odessa on May 2, 2014 had been arrested.

"The police have arrested the organisers of the Kiev rally! You just think of it! The organisers of a peaceful rally have been arrested in Kiev! What for? Show me a single slogan for which you can be arrested in a democratic ‘European’ country?" the public figure and journalist, Yuri Kot, wrote on Facebook.

Over 2,000 people took part in the rally in downtown Kiev to pay tribute to victims of the Odessa tragedy. They were carrying a banner with the sign ‘Kiev Remembers Odessa’, posters with photos of killed people and dates of death, including photos of journalist Oles Buzina, former member of the Ukrainian parliament Oleg Kalashnikov of the Party of Regions, former head of the State Property Fund Valentina Semesyuk and people killed in Odessa.

Odessa tragedy

The city of Odessa saw riots on May 2, 2014, during which soccer fans from other cities, as well as Right Sector militants and so-called "Maidan self-defense" representatives from Kiev organized a march along city streets. Clashes with federalization supporters occurred during the march.

Radicals set ablaze the Trade Unions House, where their opponents hid, and a tent camp where activists were collecting signatures for a referendum on Ukraine’s federalization and for the status of a state language for Russian. The attackers did not let anyone leave the burning Trade Unions House building.

At least 48 people were reported dead and 247 injured in the clashes and the fire in the Trade Unions House. Some Ukrainian politicians asserted that the death toll reached 116 but that the Kiev authorities concealed the facts. Investigators have so far failed to name those guilty of the crime.

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