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Court places suspected shooter in Odessa riots under house arrest

Odessa riots on May 2 left 48 people dead and dozens more injured

ODESSA, May 21. /ITAR-TASS/. Court has placed under house arrest Serhiy Khodiak who is suspected of rifle shooting at police, demonstrators and by-passers at riots staged in the Ukrainian Black Sea port city of Odessa on May 2. Then 48 people died, moreover, six of them were shot from a hunting rifle. Photo and video materials were made public in Odessa media that possibly point to Khodiak being the shooter.

Lootings have broken out from a march which Right Sector far-right extremists and radicals from the so-called Maidan self-defense  forces who came from Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, staged together with football fans from the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. They set on fire a tent camp which was collecting signatures for a referendum on Ukrainian federalization and granting a state language status to the Russian language. Activists from the tent camp took a shelter at the House of Trade Unions which was set on fire by attackers.

Forty-eight people died and 247 were wounded in riots. Several Ukrainian politicians stated that Kiev authorities understated the number of fatalities which may be up to 116.

Last week Odessa regional council banned illegal armed units from staying in the region. “Radicals should not stay in the city streets, this is my attitude to the Right Sector,” Governor Ihor Palitsa said.

Dismissed Odessa police chief Petro Lutsyuk also demanded that Right Sector gunmen be removed from Odessa. “There are many uncontrollable people in Kiev, and it was decided to send these units to Odessa. We do not need them. They create an unstable situation,” he said.