World

Ukraine: Pro-Russia Crowd Surrounds Police Station In Odessa

NPR | May 4, 2014 1:50 p.m.

Contributed By:

Bill Chappell

Participants at a rally attack a police station in Odessa as they demand the release of people arrested after recent street battles between pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian supporters in the Black Sea port city.

Participants at a rally attack a police station in Odessa as they demand the release of people arrested after recent street battles between pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian supporters in the Black Sea port city.

Reuters /Landov, Gleb Garanich

Urging the release of separatists detained during Friday’s unrest that left dozens dead, more than 100 pro-Russia activists surrounded a police station in the southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa Sunday.

From the BBC:

“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.”

The standoff comes two days after dozens of people died in a fire that followed a clash between pro-Ukraine and pro-Russia groups Friday. The region’s police chief was fired after that incident; the police agency is being investigated.

Today, interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk visited Odessa and called the deaths a “tragedy for all Ukraine.”

The site of the deadly fire has drawn tributes this weekend, as people piled flowers around candles and photographs to honor those who died.

Here are other developments in the Ukraine crisis:

— Yatsenyuk says the government in Kiev will decentralize power and provide “additional guarantees concerning the use of the Russian language and other languages.” (Russia’s state-run Tass news agency)

— Continuing its military operations against separatists, Ukraine’s forces “destroyed pro-Russian rebel checkpoints” in Kramatorsk and Slovyansk. (Kyiv Post)

— Russia and Ukraine are blaming each other for Friday’s violence. (Euronews)

— Ukraine’s government is getting advice from U.S. agents of the CIA and FBI, according to a German newspaper. (Global Post) [Copyright 2014 NPR]

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