Odessa pays tribute to slain pro-Kiev activists and rebels

2nd May 2015, Comments 0 comments

The southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa on Saturday held separate ceremonies paying tribute to both pro-Russian rebels and pro-Kiev militants who perished a year ago in a day of violent clashes.

Six pro-Kiev protesters were shot dead on May 2, 2014 by pro-Russian rebels who had charged at the national unity rally, swinging batons.

A few hours later, further clashes sparked a fire at a union building that left 42 rebels dead. Most of the victims died of smoke inhalation while others were killed trying to escape by jumping out of windows.

On Saturday, a ceremony for the rebels was held at the Kulikove Pole square -- close to the site of the fire, under tight security.

Odessa's authorities have also banned all use of the orange-and-black-striped ribbons of the Russian military's Order of St. George which have been adopted by the rebel forces.

Separately, another ceremony was held at the Soborna square downtown to remember those who were killed while demonstrating for national unity.

© 2015 AFP

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