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Odessa marks Victory Day amid simmering tensions

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Odessa marks Victory Day amid simmering tensions


Victory Day celebrations in the southwestern port of Odessa have been low key, amid simmering tensions.

Last week, the city was rocked by violent clashes between pro-Russian forces and supporters of the Kyiv government – which left more than 40 people dead.

“We used to think that we lived in a quiet city and we would avoid all the mess. But unfortunately we haven’t,” said one Odessa resident.

“It is so wrong that people died without any reason.”

It is feared that Odessa will be remembered as the area where Ukraine’s regional unrest sparked into nationwide conflict.

Reporting from Odessa, euronews correspondent Angelina Kariakina, said that this year’s holiday was held amid an atmosphere of anxiety.

“People here are still trying to recover from the recent events which, according to officials, took the lives of almost 50 people,” she said.

“Both sides of the conflict have their own versions of what happened. But both say that such clashes are unusual in Odessa.”

The trade union building – which caught fire during last week’s clashes – was a focus for some on Victory Day. They laid flowers to remember pro-Russian activists who died at the site.

According to the region’s police chief, more than 120 people are under investigation in the wake of the violence.

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