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Flowers and fury in tragedy-stricken Odessa

Published on May 4, 2014 1:24 AM
Women bring flowers in memory of people killed in recent street battles outside a trade union building, where a deadly fire occurred, in Odessa, on May 3, 2014. At least 42 people were killed in street battles between supporters and opponents of Russia in southern Ukraine that ended with pro-Russian protesters trapped in a flaming building, bringing the country closer to war. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

ODESSA (AFP) - Flowers, candles and photos of the dead pile up outside a charred building in the scenic Ukrainian port city of Odessa where anger simmers a day after brutal clashes claimed 42 lives.

Under a warm spring sun, several thousand gathered outside the blackened trade union building, where dozens perished in an inferno that marked the culmination of a day of confrontation.

"Yes, I'm Russian. I'm really Russian. Arrest me if you want. You can't stop me saying that these people were assassinated," screamed 53-year-old Elena Petrova at riot police, her eyes wide with rage.

The events leading up to the tragedy in Odessa, a well-known Black Sea city of more than one million people, are still not totally clear.

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