Dramatic - even tragic - day in Odessa, Ukraine. A city famous for its humor became a scene of violent street battles that left more that 40 people dead. Rough sequence of events:
- it was a day of a soccer game between Odessa's and Kharkiv's soccer teams. In spirit of the new tradition, fans of both teams organized a march for United Ukraine. After a similar march was attacked in Kharkiv, they expected an attack and issued a warning not to attack to separatists, but came unarmed. Text of the warning: https://twitter.com/Dbnmjr/status/462299772460613632/photo/1
- separatists armed themselves attacked:Одесса: "мирный сторонник федерализации" стреляет с крыши по людямОдесса 2 мая. Видео со стороны сепаратистов. Стрельба из АК - 47
(a guy in the middle with an AK)https://twitter.com/euromaidan/status/462315209734901760/photo/1https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/462297319455473664/photo/1https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/462295204288929793/photo/1
- soccer fans, who were later joined by Euromaidan activists, pushed back, using mostly paving stones, and made separatists barricade themselves in a shopping center. Up to three patriots were killed up to this point, many more wounded. https://twitter.com/Dbnmjr/status/462283838404567042/photo/1https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPR/status/462279187387002881/photo/1
- local police were wearing same red armbands as separatists - not clear what the meaning of it was, but it cannot be good for the local police.. It was either passive, or working on the separatists' side most of the time. later a SWAT-like unit loyal to government arrived and arrested separatists barricaded in a shopping centerhttps://twitter.com/SSkrut/status/462314870847729664/photo/1
- patriots then moved to a city square where separatists maintained a camp. Camp was destroyed, separatists locked themselves in a Trade Union building, patriots tried to break in then started throwing molotovs, separatists were shooting and throwing stones from the rooftop. Fire also started on one of the top floors from the inside of the building. A fairly long video of the events around the Trade Union building:Одесса дом профсоюзов ПОЛНОЕ ВИДЕО
- people inside the building tried to escape the smoke through the windows. Rescue attempts were not very successful: firefighters were reportedly passive, and stone throwing from the rooftop continued all through the rescue attempts. Patriots moved elements of the stage to the building to let separatists climb down:https://twitter.com/euromaidan/status/462277274411094017/photo/1
So, a shocking and a sad day. I am proud that patriots fought against adversaries armed with firearms and won, but the death toll is so strikingly high... and I have a sinking feeling that organizers of the attack may have fled, while the gullible choked inside the building...
A three day mourning has been announced in Odessa.