Sunday, May 4, 2014

Ukraine crisis: Pro-Russians attack Odessa police HQ

A man kicks the doors of the police station in Odessa (4 May 2014) Protesters broke windows and doors of the police building in Odessa
Pro-Russian activists have attacked the police headquarters in Odessa, two days after violence in the southern Ukrainian city left dozens dead.
The clashes came after hundreds of people gathered outside the building, demanding that those arrested after Friday's unrest be released.
The victims were mostly pro-Russian separatists killed when the building they were barricaded in caught fire.
Ukraine's interim PM has accused police of failing to prevent the violence.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who is now in Odessa, has ordered a full investigation, saying the authorities did "nothing to stop this crackdown", and were "inefficient and they violated the law".
But he said the unrest was "part of a plan fomented by Russia to destroy Ukraine".
He told a news conference that "Russia's aim was to repeat in Odessa what is happening in the east of the country," where pro-Russian forces have taken control of government buildings in a number of towns.
Police and protesters clash outside police department in Odessa (4 May 2014) The clashes broke out after hundreds of protesters called for the release of people detained on Friday
He insisted Kiev had not lost control entirely, saying much would depend on whether local populations "support peace and stability or whether they support those who are sponsored by Russian".
People in Odessa have been visiting the burned building over the weekend to pay tribute to those who died.
Then on Sunday afternoon, hundreds of people arrived at the main police station. The initially peaceful rally turned violent as protesters - some wearing masks and carrying improvised weapons - broke windows and forced the gates.
Several detained protesters were released by the police. There were chants of "Russia, Russia" from the crowds.
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