Fire Kills Dozens Amid Ukraine Clashes
Unrest spreads to port city of Odessa
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2014 5:04 PM CDT
A Ukrainian government supporter (in green) holds a stone and a stick during a clash with pro-Russians in the Black Sea port of Odessa, Ukraine, Friday.   (AP Photo/Sergei Poliakov)

(Newser) – Ukraine's day began violently when pro-Russian forces downed two helicopters in the city of Slovyansk, and things got worse hours later in the port city of Odessa. The exact number differs in various accounts, but somewhere between 30 and 40 people were killed when a fire broke out in a building there. Police haven't released details on how the fire started or even who the victims were, but the blaze followed rioting between pro-Ukraine and pro-Russia groups in the city, reports Reuters. The AP quotes Ukraine media reports as saying that the pro-Kiev group broke up an encampment of their rivals outside the building, and the pro-Russian group then took refuge inside it. The fire broke out soon after, with the best guess being that a Molotov cocktail set it off, either intentionally or by accident.

The heaviest fighting of the day, however, continued to take place in Slovyansk. Ukraine troops had control of the outskirts by evening, reports the New York Times, and were expected to continue their push tomorrow. The Wall Street Journal notes that US ambassador Samantha Power has expressed concern about "very alarming words from Russian diplomats" about the need for peacekeeping. Moscow used the same rationale for previous invasions of Georgia and Moldova, notes the Journal. Also today, President Obama and Germany's Angela Merkel warned that Russia faced new sanctions if it escalated tensions.

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
kawahchan
May 3, 2014 12:15 PM CDT
(R) 2016 Gov. RICK PERRY Report: OSCE observers held in UKraine released. This is a great back-off from the Russia's Putin's lackeys and the pro-Russia Eastern-Ukrainian terrorists to release these 7 OSCE members without harming the hostages. Of course, we MUST let these pro-Russia Separatists to save-face, don't push too far to a corner. So far, (R) Sen. Bob Corker is doing good jobs to handle the Ukraine crisis; Germany's US Air Force's DRONE operation is fully capable to assist the Ukraine's Kiev government to fulfill its domestic Anti-Terrorist operation, DRONEing the Anti-Terrorist operation in Eastern Ukraine, the UN don't debate on the so-called "Human Shield" to defense the Russia's "People Republic of Donetsk".
yurmala
May 3, 2014 12:27 AM CDT
They were Ukrainian citizens, after the radical Kiev forces came they ran to the government building, the radicals set it a blaze. Locked in the building people started jumping out through the lover floor windows and were beaten to death by the radicals, the ones that survived were immediately arrested and denied medical help.
$103359148
May 2, 2014 11:12 PM CDT
Ever notice the ones who stage these silly protests are not the people, but some young out of town punks who are paid by some political party or special interest group. The citizens of Ukraine want nothing to do with these idgets.