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Odessa declares three-day mourning

May 03, 2014, 9:14 UTC+3 3 3/5
May 3, 4 and 5 are declared mourning days
Material has 1 page

ODESSA, May 3 (Itar-Tass) - Three-day mourning is declared in Odessa over Friday's tragic events, which took 41 lives, according to the information of the city council.

"May 3, 4 and 5 are declared mourning days," the council said in a statement on its website.

Ukrainian and Odessa flags with black ribbons will be lowered to half-mast on administrative buildings.

According to the updated information, hospitals received 123 people injured in clashes. Forty of them were hospitalized, including 17 in critical condition. Forty one people died.

On Friday evening, medical personnel in Odessa asked city residents to help save scores of injured people. First of all dressings and antibiotics were needed. Hospitals were short of them, said doctors at the city's first clinic, where injured people were taken.

Former governor of the Odessa region and deputy Nikolai Skorik demands to urgently convene a session of the regional council in connection with Friday's disorders provoked by Right Sector and Self Defence radicals who arrived from Kiev.

"In our city, blood is shed, and scores of our fellow countrymen are dead or crippled. The situation is out of control of authorities. An end must be put to it. Odessa citizens must know the names of those guilty of mass disorders and deaths," Skorik said in a letter sent to the regional council chairman, Nikolai Tindyuk.

The press service of the Ukrainian government said the cabinet had sent a commission headed by Ukrainian parliament-appointed First Vice Premier Vitaly Yaryoma to Odessa to inquire into circumstances of the deaths of people in clashes and the fire in the House of Trade Unions.

The disturbance began in Odessa in the daytime on Friday with a mass brawl at Grecheskaya Street. It was instigated by football fans from Kharkov and Right Sector and Self-Defence radicals from Kiev, who decided to organize a march on Odessa streets. They provoked clashes with federalization supporters. Forcing them out, radicals set fire to a camp at Kulikovo Field where activists collected signatures to hold a referendum on federalization of Ukraine and the official status of the Russian language. Activists from the camp escaped to the nearby building of the regional House of Trade Unions, and radicals set fire to the building. When the fire reached the upper floors, many of the people there died from smoke. Others jumped from upper floors and died after falling. Those who survived were cruelly beaten by Kiev radicals with batons.

Regional council member and Odessa mayoral candidate Alexei Albu was also attacked.

"When we came out of the burning building, a crowd of nationalists attacked us. I can say that about a hundred people were hurt. People jumped out of windows. Everything was in smoke. People lying on the ground were kicked. I and one of our activists, Vlad, have serious head injuries. We are heading for a hospital. Earlier in the day, our activist Ivan received a bullet wound. Right Sector members who attacked the House of Trade Unions were fully equipped, armed and prepared beforehand," Albu said. He was taken to a hospital where he received first aid.

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