Smoke grenades, Molotov cocktails in Ukraine’s Odessa as pro- and anti-Maidan rallies clash

2 May 2014

Injuries have been reported as hundreds of people from rival rallies clash in Ukraine’s port-city of Odessa. A pro-unity demonstration, which included nationalists and football fans, ran into a rally preaching greater autonomy for the regions.

Gunfire was heard in Odessa’s downtown as the two riving rallies met, police having failed to draw them apart. Over 2,000 protesters pelted each other with Molotov cocktails and smoke grenades. Stones from the pavement also made to the fight.

As a fire brigade arrived at the scene, the driver was forced out of the car by the enraged football fans and had to escape, a live stream showed.

At least one person has been seriously injured in the stand-off, reports Interfax. The football fans also say in Twitter that one person from their group was killed, but this is yet to be confirmed.

Around 1,500 supporters of the Kiev authorities gathered at the Sobornaya square in sentral Odessa. They were accompanied by fans of the local football club Chernomorets.

Some of the people in the group were wearing the ultra-nationalist Right Sector movements signs, were armed with chains and bats and carried shields, as Itar-Tass correspondent on the ground reports.

The procession was at a moment confronted by several hundred pro-federalazation activists. Fighting erupted as a result, with members of the rival groups throwing stones at each other and at police, who were trying to stop the violence.

 

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